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Which is Worse for Your Teeth, Acids or Sugars?

Posted on 7/31/2017 by Boeckel
Lisa Gitelson, DMD suggests cutting back on sugary and acidic drinks.
Yes, the age-old question; acid or sugar. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth. Not so well known is that acid is bad for your teeth. But you don't drink or eat acid. Of course, you do. You just don't realize that it is acid. To understand what is meant by consuming acid you have to understand the science behind tooth decay.

When you eat, bacteria that lives in your mouth starts to digest the food debris left behind by carbohydrates. When the bacteria digest the debris, it produces an acid that combines with the saliva in your mouth to form the acid known as plaque. The plaque then works on decaying your teeth. This is the role acid plays and where it comes from.

What Does All of This Mean?

Confused, are you? Let’s make it easier. When you eat sugary treats the carbohydrates left behind contain some of the sugar, but when the bacteria process it, it turns into acid. What is important is that the carbohydrate that stays longer on the teeth is the one that is the most damaging. The one good thing about sugary foods is that a chocolate bar can get washed away by your saliva. Potato chips and raisins cannot get washed away. They cling to your teeth and allow the bacteria to feed.

Soda pop is acidic on its own. It contains citric acid and phosphoric acid. Citric Acid is also found in citrus foods and drinks like orange juice and lemonade. The acids in these drinks have been shown to erode the enamel on your teeth.

The good news is this. For soda, the acid only lasts about 30 minutes after you finish drinking it. If you sip the soda all day long, however, you are constantly reintroducing the acid to your mouth. Cooked potato starches cling to your teeth longer than other carbohydrates. Snacking on chips all day is bad for your teeth. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (503) 985-8945.

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
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14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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Lisa Gitelson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Tags: dentist Tigard OR; Family Dentistry Tigard OR; Preventative Dentistry Tigard OR; (503) 985-8945;; 3/23/2019