Think back to the last time you walked into a convenience store and made your way to the drink fridge. You probably debated between two or three options, before finally choosing your drink. How did you make your decision? Most patients would choose their drink of choice based off of taste, calories, sugar or price. However, not many people are choosing their beverage purchase based on pH levels, but they might want to reconsider.
pH Levels Play a Role In Your Oral Health
A study in the United Started National Library of Medicine shows that drinks with lower pH Levels, which are more acidic, are responsible for commonly seen tooth erosion. In fact, this study even took sugar and sugar substitutes as factors. They noticed that the effects of the acidity were much more influential on the rate of erosion. A healthy drinking range, when it comes to our oral health, is neutral or alkaline. When it comes to the most acidic drinks, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that soft drinks take the crown.
Soft Drinks Are Known To Be Acidic
We’ve known that soft drinks are acidic for a while. In fact, it’s pretty common knowledge that you can pop open a Coca-Cola and use it to clean a car battery. That’s not the recommended way or the cleanest solution, but it works! What ingredient is responsible for the high acidity it sodas? Believe it or not, it’s (ironically food grade) phosphoric acid! There is some debate that carbonic acid, which is used during the carbonation process, may play a role in this acidic level. However, the general consensus is that it does not. While sports drinks are not as acidic as soft drinks, they are still more acidic and detrimental to oral health than some of the healthier alternatives.
The Water You Are Drinking May Be Acidic Too
If you’re shocked that the water you drink every day might be acidic, you’re not alone! You’d be surprised how many brands of bottled water test acidic in a simple alkaline test. In fact, there are some that ourselves and a number of our patients drink each day. Among these include Dasani, Aquafina, Ethos (Starbuck’s Brand), Voss, and Great Value (Walmart’s) bottled water products. With brands that claim to have higher pH levels comes a new set of issues. Are brands that claim to be adding electrolytes and increasing the pH level doing just that? Shockingly SmartWater didn’t just measure low on the pH level, it actually tested acidic. While they may not be as acidic as soda, the long term effect of drinking acidic water can also have negative consequences on your oral health.
When it comes to bottled drink choices, most patients are aware of the high acidity of sodas, such as Coca-Cola. However, most don’t realize that their drinking water could be testing acidic too! This knowledge is an important part of maintaining the best oral health possible. When it comes to tooth erosion, acidic drinks are one of the biggest culprits! This is why it’s important to only drink acidic drinks on occasion, especially drinks with high acidity. To learn more about the role acidic drinks plays in your oral health or to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us today.