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A lot of people love soda, and more people love sour food and fruit. These are pretty typical things to see in a modern adult diet, and while there are sour foods that are good for you – and fruit obviously has its health benefits – there’s just one problem with the aforementioned foods:

They really do a number of your tooth enamel.

What’s enamel?

Every tooth in your mouth is covered in a hard outer layer – this is your enamel. That hard outer layer protects the living bundles of nerves and blood vessels inside your teeth, known as the dentin and pulp. Enamel is actually the hardest substance in the human body, which makes sense since our teeth are so routinely subjected to intense use throughout the day.

What’s up with acid?

Foods that are high in acid content are foods that attack your enamel, more so than normal activities. The acid chips away at your enamel bit by bit, eventually causing enough erosion to allow for infections and other problems to arise. While your enamel does replenish itself, consistent exposure to acidic foods makes that replenishing process less effective.

Help your enamel

You can help your enamel by either eliminating or greatly reducing the amounts of acidic food and drink in your daily diet, in addition to making sure you use a toothpaste with fluoride (a substance that helps restore enamel).