Even after eating breakfast, brushing teeth should be avoided after eating anything acidic – no matter what time of the day. Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruit and lemons, weaken tooth enamel meaning that brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Therefore, individuals should wait for at least an hour.
Prolonged exposure to phosphoric acid, which can be found in soft drinks like regular and diet fizzy drinks, can erode hard tissues from the tooth surface. This erosion can cause permanent damage to your teeth. In order to keep acid erosion to a minimum, individuals should limit snacking between meals and be mindful of consumption of soft drinks and sugary snacks.
For those who have a build-up of plaque on the teeth – usually caused by acidic foods – further problems such as gum disease, dental abscesses and tooth decay will occur. It is important to note that tooth decay may not cause any symptoms, meaning only regular check-ups to the dentist may be the only way to identify the condition.
For some, however, tooth decay can cause:
- Toothache – either continuous pain keeping you awake or occasional sharp pain without an obvious cause
- Tooth sensitivity – you may feel tenderness or pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold or sweet
- Grey, brown or black spots appearing on your teeth
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth.