Significant acid content in food and drinks can also do a job on your pearly whites.
And there's a big list of those, including soda, both regular and diet, energy drinks, juice, wine, most fruits, tart candies, pickles, sauerkraut, even strawberry jam -- and more.
Dr. Nancy Rosen, a dentist practicing in Manhattan, explained to The Early Show's Russ Mitchell Wednesday that acid in foods or liquids can cause irreversible erosion of tooth enamel.
The results of the erosion can include sensitivity, pain, a higher likelihood of tooth decay, and darker teeth, because the layer below the white enamel is dark.
Generally, Rosen says, you can't repair affected teeth with simple fillings. To fix them, you need veneers and crowns.
But The Mayo Clinic suggests several ways to minimize such damage:
Rosen explains that, if you brush with the acid all over your teeth, it's like using acid as toothpaste. You should wait at least a half- hour before brushing, so your saliva can mix with the acidity and start to neutralize and dilute it.
Rosen told Mitchell she has patients who put orange and lemon slices in their mouths and just suck on them. If you do that, you're just "bathing your teeth in acid." That's NOT a good idea! People who put sourball candies inside their cheeks do the same thing (and if the sourballs also have sugar, they're hurting their teeth both with acid and with sugar).
Rosen added that people with acid reflux or who vomit because of bulimia are also at high-risk of enamel erosion, because they can introduce acid into their mouths from their digestive systems. And while acid from eating and drinking usually harms front teeth, the acid from the digestive tract frequently has its most severe impact on teeth in the back of the mouth.