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Acidic Drinks & Your Teeth

Dietary acids come in many forms, from dairy to meats to grains. While we do need these as part of a balanced diet, an overly acidic diet can be harmful to your oral environment. Drinks with a high acidic content include juice, sports drinks, soda (diet and regular), carbonated and sparkling drinks, coffee, tea, and alcohol. Since these are free flowing, they coat the entire surface of the mouth as well as every surface of your teeth with materials that erode and soften the protective enamel layer. Constant exposure continues to wear this layer down over time and eventually causes harm and decay to your teeth. Saliva works hard to regulate the pH levels in our mouths but continual consumption of these acidic beverages throughout a day can reduce its efficiency. 

While cutting down on these acidic beverages is the best line of defense in terms of reducing the acid intake, there are a few other ways to protect your teeth from acid exposure. 

  • Replace acidic drinks with water

  • Avoid “diet” and “sugar-free” beverages” as they may not contain the sugar and carbohydrates found in regular products but they still contain preservatives and flavors that are highly acidic. 

  • Avoid carbonated drinks as they are highly acidic due to the carbonation process.

  • Rinse with water or chew sugar free gum after having acidic drinks.

  • Wait to brush 30-60 minutes after having something acidic to allow saliva to buffer the pH level and prevent harm to your enamel with the toothbrush. 

  • Talk to your dentist about products that protect against acid such as toothpastes, rinses, gels, or in office treatments. 

  • Manage any acid reflux issues to prevent additional exposure to acid from the stomach.


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