What ingredient found in many foods and drinks is bad news for your teeth?
The first thing that comes to your mind is probably sugar. While this is true, sometimes we forget another, equally damaging culprit: acid.
Food and drink that are high in acid, such as fruit and fruit juices, wine, and even your own stomach acid from acid reflux can erode the enamel that protects your teeth, and make them more vulnerable to decay, discoloration, and sensitivity. Because of this, it’s important to keep the pH in your mouth at optimum level.
What is pH?
pH is a scale used in chemistry to measure how acidic or basic a liquid is, and ranges from 0, or most acidic, to 14, or most basic. On this scale, 7 is considered neutral. For perspective, both blood and human saliva have a pH of 7, while battery acid is at 0 on the scale, and liquid drain cleaner is at 14. Knowing this, one would want to keep their salivary pH as close to 7, or neutral, as possible.
How do I keep up good oral pH?
Luckily, it’s not only easy to reduce acidity in your mouth, it’s perfectly free! Delta Dental has these tips:
- Drink plenty of water. Good pH can be that simple! Sip water alongside, or after consuming the acidic food or drink to wash remaining residue away.
- Don’t snack on acidic food. Enjoy acidic foods and drinks alongside regular meals, not as standalone snacks. This will reduce contact time with your teeth.
- Use a straw. Use a straw to enjoy acidic beverages like juice, when able.
Wait before brushing. Since acid softens your tooth enamel, brushing right after a meal can do more harm than good. After a meal, rinse your mouth with water, and wait 30 minutes to brush.
If you feel like going above and beyond, chewing a sugarless gum or enjoying a sugarless hard candy also helps. The act of chewing or sucking on a candy stimulates saliva flow, which is naturally neutral in pH and helps wash away food particles.
Interested in going above and beyond sugarless candy? Loloz with Cavibloc can not only stimulate salivary flow while maintaining the proper pH, but also destroy and inhibit the regrowth of bad bacteria (namely S. mutans, sobrinus, and lactobacilli: the three main bacteria associated with tooth decay) already living in your mouth.