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Protect your teeth from dental erosion

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The enamel on our teeth is pretty tough, but over time, the acid in the food we eat can soften that enamel. Acidic beverages, especially soft drinks, are a real concern. This dental erosion can lead to both tooth and gum problems.

Dr. John Swartzberg at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter says there are some simple ways to protect your teeth.

Try to eat acidic goods with other foods rather than on their own. And don't brush right after eating acidic foods or beverages.

"Rinse your mouth out after that, just with some water," he said. "Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing because the enamel is going to be soft for a little while and you want to wait until it gets harder again before you brush."

Dr. Swartzberg says eating dairy products can help. The calcium helps reduce the damaging effects of acids and the casein helps repair the teeth.

Chewing sugarless gum is another option.

"Sugarless gum increases saliva and saliva has a lot of properties, including calcium, that can help remineralize our teeth and saliva neutralizes acid," Dr. Swartzberg told me.

The Wellness Letter's medical experts say you need to be careful how you brush. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and don't use too much force. And make sure your toothpaste isn't too abrasive. Whitening pastes are the most abrasive. Those with baking soda tend to be the most gentle to your teeth.

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More Info: Dental Erosion: 7 Tips for Teeth

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