Your Smile and Your Drink: Why pH Matters

P4-5c84dIf the only beverage you drink is water, you are off the hook in terms of risking your dental health. However, if you are like most of us, you like a variety of beverages depending on your mood or the time of day. What you may not realize is that there is a lot at stake when it comes to your smile and your drink of choice. While foods can certainly get stuck in tooth grooves and cause damage, your drink is essentially bathing your teeth with every gulp. One of the sneakiest culprits is the pH level of your drink. You may be focused on choosing less sugar in your drink (which is definitely a good idea), but don’t miss the importance of selecting a less acidic option as well.

How does the pH level affect your teeth? The acids of your drink can essentially eat away at your tooth enamel, breaking down the anatomical structure of your teeth. This leads to tooth decay, discoloration and eventual tooth loss if not treated properly. These potent acids are known for producing bacterium and saccharides, which invade the crevices of your teeth and accelerate the decay process.

Which drinks should you avoid to protect your smile? The pH scale in certain drinks may surprise you. Here is a list of acidic beverages that can wreck your smile:

  • Sports Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Sodas
  • Citrus Drinks

Many of these beverages are not only highly acidic, but they also contain large amounts of concentrated sugar. Together, this is the worst recipe for your smile. While you may not be able to completely avoid these drinks, you can establish some habits that will reduce the damage.

If you plan on having a soda or glass of wine, try to follow it up with a good rinse of water when you are done. Even chewing a piece of sugarless gum will stimulate salvia flow and neutralize the pH level in your mouth. Brushing your teeth is an excellent way to remove the acid bath on your pearly whites. However, to avoid doing more harm than good, wait at least 30 minutes before scrubbing your smile. Another smile saver tip is to use a straw, which can greatly reduce the direct contact between your drink and your teeth.

When in doubt, grab a tall refreshing glass of H20. You can never go wrong with hydrating your body with water. For more tips on keeping your smile bright and healthy, contact Red Oak Family Dentistry. We love sharing our dental care knowledge!


Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr, #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279