We all know that feeling of tasting something sour. Your cheeks may pucker, you might squint your eyes, yet somehow it is a flavor that is ever growing in popularity. From lemonade to gummy worms, sour foods are often a surprisingly delicious treat. However, your teeth do not feel the same way. While you may enjoy the taste of a sour candy every now and then, your teeth can feel repercussions long after that puckered feeling has passed, and the damage can be even worse if you have braces or other orthodontic appliances.
What is so bad about sour foods?
Oftentimes when we eat food, we do not consider the effects the food will have on our teeth. We get caught up in the flavors and the textures and forget that our teeth require care before, during, and after a meal, not just when we wake up and go to bed. But certain foods, particularly sour foods, can do some serious damage to your teeth.
The acidity that comes with sour foods can greatly damage the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of the tooth that protects it. In fact, enamel can dissolve almost immediately after you eat the sour food. Sounds scary, right? With braces it can get even scarier. Because braces sit on your teeth, they create hiding places for foods and consequently the acids that come with them to sit even longer on your teeth, which leads to more opportunity to dissolve your enamel and cause permanent damage to teeth.
How to prevent damage from sour foods
The most common sour foods are sour candies, which often take the form of gummies. So if you have braces, avoid them totally since you are not supposed to be eating gummy food anyway. However, if you do eat sour foods, make sure you rinse out your mouth after you eat to get the acids moving away from your teeth. You may feel inclined to immediately brush your teeth, but this can actually do more damage to your enamel. It is best to wait about an hour after you finish eating to brush your teeth.