Protect Your Teeth From Acidic Beverages | Shoreline Dental Care

Protect Your Teeth From Acidic Beverages

Protect Your Teeth From Acidic BeveragesWhile your teeth may be strong, they are not indestructible. Most popular drinks have a very high level of acid, and this acidity can damage your enamel. Once it is damaged, you’ll need your dentist’s help to repair it so that it doesn’t wear away more.

Dangers of Acidic Drinks

Drinks with a high pH level can cause a variety of oral health problems, but it begins when they eat away at the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Enamel erosion is a problem because enamel that becomes destroyed can’t grow back. Unlike other materials in your body, your enamel doesn’t have any living cells, so there’s no way for it to heal itself.

When your tooth enamel erodes, the sensitive, yellow-colored dentin underneath is exposed. This is why your teeth will start to look discolored when you don’t take care of them. But the exposed dentin doesn’t just have cosmetic downsides; it can also lead to painful dental conditions like tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth experience pain when they drink or bite into hot, cold, sweet, acidic, or spicy foods and drinks, and it can have adverse effects on their diet in the long run.

Common Acidic Drinks

Studies have indicated diet soda isn’t any more tooth-friendly than regular soda. Although it is sugar-free, it’s still overwhelming to your enamel if you drink it regularly. Even small quantities of soda can damage your teeth; as little as one glass per day has been linked to damage, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Because citrus-based fruit juices contain healthy vitamins and minerals, you may assume they’re healthy for your teeth as well. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Orange juice and similar citrus-sourced liquids are packed with Vitamin C, but they’re packed with tooth-damaging acids as a result. In fact, both lemon and lime juice are comparable to the acidity of battery acid.

Wine is another highly acidic beverage. And although red wine is slightly less acidic than white wine, both can damage your teeth and should be consumed in moderation.

Several studies show that bottled water, particularly the ones with high or low pH levels, can cause cavities. For those who are unfamiliar with pH, it stands for potential hydrogen. When used in the context of water, pH refers to the amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions that it contains. Drinking water that is too acidic or too alkaline can cause cavities.

In short, healthy pH levels in the oral cavity should be between 6.7 and 7.3. And this is achieved via saliva production. When an individual consumes bottled water with a pH that is greater than 7, it can cause the natural pH in the oral cavity to drop to 5.5 or lower, which, in turn, erodes tooth enamel and eventually causes cavities. According to Alkaline Water Plus, some of the better choices include the following: Aquafina, Dasani & Perrier.

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Protecting Your Teeth

To keep your tooth enamel safe, reduce your intake of drinks that have a pH level of around 3 (just 4 points away from that of saliva, according to Dear Doctor), which is where you typically find soda. When you do want to drink soda or fruit juice, choose a low-acid, tooth-friendly alternative instead.

Here are some alternatives:

  • Tap water
  • Black tea
  • Black coffee
  • Milk

When drinking an acidic beverage, keep in mind you should have it with food rather than sipping it between mealtimes. And after your meal, rinse with water to further dilute the acid that lingers in your mouth. Once you’re done eating, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth. Acidic drinks weaken your tooth enamel, so brushing too soon can actually cause damage while it’s still newly sensitive.

Acidic drinks are very damaging to tooth enamel over time, no matter how long you’ve held the habit, so be sure to drink them in moderation. If you’re concerned your enamel is damaged due to soda, juice, wine, or another acidic drink, visit your dentist right away.
Just do your best, remember to brush and floss every day, and come in to see us so we can make sure your smile stays healthy! If you’re due for a check-up, give our office a call: Milford or West Haven

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