Healthy Drinks, Healthy Teeth!March 19, 2020
Spring is in the air! We are starting to notice lighter, warmer, sunnier days in Chicago! The weather has been very kind to us these past few weeks; great for bike riding, walking along side the lakefront, or even having a cookout! No matter if you’re grilling steaks or vegetables, we all tend to consume the same beverages. Over the past 35 years, there has been a steady consumption of sweetened and flavored beverages. These carbonated soft drinks had been consumed mostly by children, teens, and young adults. However, what we have been seeing in the past year is more teeth erosion in adults, both on the x-rays and visually as white spots on the tooth surface. Dental cavities and erosion are the irreversible acidic dissolution of the surface tooth structure by chemical means in the absence of microorganisms. Through listening to our patients, we realized that popular carbonated drinks, such as La Croix, are all the rage and most people consider them a healthy alternative to sodas. But not so fast!
What can we drink that won’t affect or weaken our teeth? Ideally, we should all drink liquids with a neutral pH around 7, which comes from still water or spring water. It isn’t just the sugar in drinks that is causing tooth erosion, but it is also the acidity found in carbonated drinks, especially when flavoring is added. Teeth erode at the pH range of 2.0 to 4.0; although, surface enamel starts to demineralize as the pH drops to anything less than 5.5.
You can still have occasional carbonated beverage, but it is recommended to dilute it with water, drink it with food only, or drink in one seating as opposed to sipping on it for hours. Since the longer your teeth “bathe” in the acid, there is more irreversible damage done to your enamel. So keep your teeth healthy by drinking water afterwards or brushing your teeth 30 minutes AFTER you have an acidic drink, because that is how long the acid stays on our teeth and you don’t want to brush the acid onto your enamel.
Be aware that pH levels are not included in the labels of our beverages. So, we have included a chart of top favorite drinks in our office (Healthier Alternatives). Keep in mind extremely erosive: pH lower than 3.0; -erosive: pH 3.0 to 3.99; -minimally erosive: pH more than or equal to 4.0.
|Healthier Alternatives||pH (Standard Deviation)||Not So Healthy||pH (Standard Deviation)|
|S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water||4.96||Battery Acid||1|
|Dasani||5.03||Schweppes Tonic Water||2.54|
|Perrier||5.25||Monster Energy Drink||2.7|
|Canada Dry Club Soda||5.24||Coke Zero||2.93|
|Gerolsteiner Sparkling||5.9||Diet Coke||3.0|
|Tap Water||6.5||Izze Sparkling Clemetine||3.27|
|Gerolsteiner Naturell||6.9||La Croix||3.5-4 (depending on flavoring)|
From all of us at Artful Smiles, “Stay Safe and Healthy!”