O’Fallon Dentist Explains How Acid Erosion Weakens Dental Enamel

Written by Dr. Brace on Feb 21, 2012

If you’re trying to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you probably already have a good basic hygiene routine at home. Ideally, you’re already brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and maybe you’re using an oral antiseptic wash as well. If, despite your best efforts, you find that your teeth still seem to be losing strength and vibrancy, you may be suffering from acid erosion. Although acid erosion is not always well known among patients, it is an incredibly common condition that weakens and softens dental enamel. Many adult patients suffer from acid erosion without even realizing it—so read on to learn how to identify this harmful condition.


Acid erosion results when dental enamel is degraded or weakened due to long-term exposure to acidic foods or drinks. Acid demineralizes dental enamel, so over time the enamel becomes less resilient, softer, and more prone to dental infections. Patients with acid erosion often find that their teeth are more sensitive than before, and also more easily damaged or infected.


A number of common substances can contribute to acid dental erosion, including fruits, fruit juices, wines, and carbonated beverages. Now, minimizing dental erosion doesn’t mean that you need to avoid these substances all together—after all you need fruits in a healthy diet—rather, the goal is to minimize the length of time that teeth are coated in these acidic substances.

Here are some simple tips from our O’Fallon dentists:


Drink acidic beverages through a straw, thereby bypassing many teeth

Rinse your teeth with water after eating or drinking to help neutralize acids


The best way to protect your teeth from acid erosion is to maintain a regular schedule of semi-annual professional dental cleanings with your dentist. Your dentist can help you develop an oral hygiene routine that will work for your specific situation. Give our O’Fallon dental office a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!