Dental Erosion

Sparkling water has recently become my new go to drink on a hot summer’s day. But being a dentist I did wonder how acidic it was and whether I was at risk of damaging my teeth.

This is because when we eat or drink something acidic, our enamel becomes softer. Usually the acid attack is neutralised by our saliva but if the acid attack is prolonged or occurs frequently, it can lead to the loss of tooth structure. Any food or drink that has a pH of less than 5.5 can harm our teeth due to its acidity. The table below shows the pH of some common beverages:

Food / drink pH
Lemon Juice 2-2.6
Cranberry Juice 2.3-2.52
Coke 2.53
White wine 3
Coffee 5.51
Sparkling water 5-6
Milk 6.4-6.8
Tap water 7
Tea 7.2

 

This leads me back to my new found love of sparkling water, with a pH of between 5-6 it is acidic and could potentially be damaging. But I’m not ready to give it up yet, so here are some tips to help look after our teeth when we drink acidic beverages:

  • Drink acidic beverages at meal times
  • Drink quickly, don’t swish it around
  • Drink through a straw
  • Chew sugar free gum after consumption
  • Wait an hour before brushing to allow the teeth to remineralise. This will prevent further damage with a toothbrush
  • Drink tap water as much as possible!
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