Are You in the Dental Doghouse?

We all want healthy, or at least healthier, teeth and gums. If your last dental office visit yielded a bit of a lecture on brushing and flossing more, these tips may help get you out of the dental doghouse.

Sure, we know the obvious: sugary foods, desserts and candy are top contributors to dental decay. And anything sweet AND sticky, well, that's even worse.

But what about highly acidic foods, or the amount of time something sweet hangs out in your mouth? A recent article at Regence Blue Cross of Oregon interviewing Stephen Persichetti, DDS, at Downtown Dental in Portland, Ore., and assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry, had this to say:

High Acid Level

What types of foods are acidic? Many of us do not understand acidity in what we eat and drink, which makes this the secret enemy of healthy teeth. With acidic solids and liquids, you're adding a substance to your teeth that will directly start decaying the enamel, just like the bacteria that consume the sugary foods you eat. Drinks that fall into this category are soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, and especially coffee. Acidic foods include eggs, yogurt, meat, corn, beans, most grains, and fish.

Dr. Persichetti warns, "Acidic drinks like soda pop contain a triple threat: high sugar, sticky and acidic." While he doesn't preach total abstinence from the beverage so many of us love, he recommends, "If you have to drink your soda, use a straw if possible, drink it all down, rinse your mouth and then brush your teeth."

Length of Exposure

The fourth characteristic is the amount of time we expose our teeth to any of the foods listed above. Those of us who buy a coffee and sip it for half the day, are keeping that acidy liquid on our teeth for hours at a time. And when that coffee drink contains flavored syrups or two to three packets of sugar, we are contributing even more to the challenge of keeping our teeth healthy.

Likewise, the high school kid who keeps a soda in his locker and sips it between classes is prolonging that acid bath for his teeth.

Article courtesy of, found in its entirety, here. Original article written by Myra Lavenue.

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