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Acid Erosion vs. Tooth Decay: The Perils of Orthodontics

tooth decay

One of the most common questions we get from patients (both children and adults) while in braces is how to prevent tooth decay. During consultations, acid erosion is often also discussed. Our dental team has noticed that people tend to use the term acid erosion when they meant tooth decay and vice versa. Is there really a difference between the two? Let’s find out below!

Similarities and Differences

Although both have the same dreaded effects to your teeth, tooth decay and acid erosion differ when it comes to the source of the problem.

With acid erosion, the enamel is worn out as a result of consumption and exposure of overly acidic food and drinks. As your teeth are exposed to these acidic substances over time, the enamel (outermost covering of your tooth) is worn out. This occurs quite often with a diet that includes carbonated drinks or high sugar contents, such as sweet tea. Bad habits like sucking on limes or oranges can also weaken the enamel.

On the other hand, tooth decay is caused by the action of bacteria which normally resides in your teeth. These bacteria actually benefit from the food you eat and they love the wet and dark environment in your oral cavity as they thrive better in such conditions. They also help you digest your food. Unfortunately, these bacteria have to excrete waste products as they digest the bread you just ate. One of their waste products includes lactic acid, which (you bet!) destroys the enamel. Simply, the more bacteria left on your braces from poor brushing, the more likely you will have decay.

Preventive Dentistry against Tooth Decay and Acid Erosion

Tooth decay and acid erosion can be avoided by taking preventive measures, primarily brushing and flossing well. Furthermore, here at our practice, preventive dentistry aims to help you avoid getting any oral disease or catching them at their early stages. As part of a routine dental check-up, we look for signs and symptoms of periodontal disease as well as dental decay. Our team of experts will then make recommendations as they see fit to be able to address the dental concerns and make sure that they do not progress any further.

Call us at 281.395.2112 to book an appointment. Your smile and comfort is our top priority at Welch Dental Group!