Eating and Drinking for Your Smile: Why pH Matters

When it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you probably know that you should brush and floss daily as well as see your dentist every six months. However, there are other driving factors that can make or break your oral health. If you really want to protect your pearly whites and avoid dental damage over time, it is time to pay attention to your diet. More specifically, start understanding the pH value of what you eat and drink each day.

The pH level of a food or beverage refers to how acidic it is. Low (acidic) pH levels are heavy contributors to tooth decay or cavities. When acids linger on the teeth, they the outer layer (enamel) and cause demineralization over time. Eventually, this protective tooth layer can become so weakened and damaged that a cavity develops. Sensitivity and discoloration are also threats of enamel erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks.

Start doing you part in protecting your smile by educating yourself on the pH of your favorite food and beverages. Here are the pH values of many popular choices:

  • Water – pH 7
  • Milk – pH 6.4
  • Cheese – 5.9
  • Bananas – 4.6
  • Apples – 3.6
  • Coffee – 2.7
  • Wine – 2.4
  • Candy – 1.6
  • Battery Acid – 1.0 

Keep in mind that just because a particular food or drink doesn’t seem acidic, it can still be sneakily destructive. The bacteria of sugars and starches that you consume can also produce acids.

What You Can Do

While it is obvious that water and dairy products are your best choice for decay prevention, it doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid your acidic favorites like a soda or wine. However, we do recommend that you take some extra steps. Try to rinse with water or grab a stick of sugarless gum to rinse away the acids and neutralize your mouth. Professional fluoride treatments are also an excellent choice, as they can restore lost minerals to your tooth enamel and reduce your cavity risk by up to 75%!

At Dream Dentist, we want you to achieve and maintain a healthy, confident smile through all stages of life. If you are concerned that your acidic diet has compromised your smile health, please schedule a visit with us sooner rather than later.

Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O'Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699