Getting A “Taste” For Better Dental Hygiene: Dealing With Acid Reflux And Oral Health

Acid reflux is a health condition that impacts numerous individuals. Aside from having painful and often uncomfortable side effects, acid reflux may also be dangerous for your dental health. Fortunately, identifying the effects of acid reflux and learning what foods to avoid and what foods to eat can minimize the condition and protect your teeth.

Acid Reflux and Your Teeth

Acid reflux is a major problem when it comes to your oral health. If you suffer from acid reflux, the contents of your stomach often boil up into your mouth. The acidic vapors that your stomach produces as a result can lead to dental erosion. Considering that over 7 million people suffer with acid reflux, dentists often have their hands full dealing with various dental issues ranging from cavities to a loss of tooth enamel.

Foods to Avoid

To begin with, chewing gum is often recommended by dentists in order to prevent cavities. When you chew gum, your mouth produces saliva, which helps to keep your mouth clean. Unfortunately, gum is one of the foods you should avoid if you have acid reflux.

Milk is also recommended since it contains calcium to help protect your teeth, but whole milk may unfortunately worsen your acid reflux symptoms. To make matters worse, chocolate milk is also out of the picture since chocolate can aggravate acid reflux.

Most toothpastes commonly contain either peppermint or spearmint in order to give your mouth that minty freshness. Unfortunately, you will need to avoid both peppermint and spearmint if you wish to tame your acid reflux symptoms.

Fruits are often touted to have certain benefits for your teeth, but there are fruits that you will need to avoid if you wish to get your acid reflux under control. For example, acidic fruits such as lemons and grapefruits can agitate your acid reflux and they may even prove damaging to your teeth.

Foods to Consume Instead

Despite the fact that you will need to give up on your chewing gum, you can replace it with foods that have the same effect. Choose to eat raw vegetables instead, particularly carrots or even celery, which will not aggravate your acid reflux. Crunchy, stringy vegetables such as celery can also help your mouth produce saliva. In addition, the fiber-like texture of celery can remove food and other debris from your mouth in between brushing.

Rather than drinking whole milk, opt to purchase low-fat or skim milk. By purchasing 1% of 2% milk, you are still able to enjoy the calcium-rich benefits of drinking milk without upsetting your stomach. Another option is to switch out your regular milk for coconut milk or even almond milk since both contain calcium and will not agitate your acid reflux.

Talk to your dentist about recommended toothpastes for people with your condition. Often times doctors can prescribe a toothpaste to you that does not contain peppermint or spearmint. Another option is to mix up your own toothpaste in the meantime that consists of baking soda and water used to make a paste to help keep your teeth clean.

Although you are supposed to avoid acidic fruits, that does not mean you need to stay away from all fruits. In fact, eating strawberries is highly recommended! Not only will you avoid upsetting your stomach, strawberries contain a chemical known as malic acid, which is gentle enough on your stomach, yet acts as a whitener for your teeth.

Make sure you let your dentist know if you or anyone in your family suffers from acid reflux. Your dentist will need to ensure that your condition has not caused any permanent damage to your teeth. In addition, you can talk to your dentist or read more about additional foods that you should avoid and those that you should eat in order to minimize acid reflux and protect your teeth at the same time.