When buying drinks for your family, it’s not just the sugar content you have to worry about: it’s the acidity.
Dental researchers in Adelaide, Australia, recently published a report linking the high acidity in drinks to dental erosion.
The researchers demonstrated that lifelong damage could occur to teeth within just 30 seconds of drinking an acidic beverage.
Soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, and other beverages were all classified as acidic drinks.
The tooth erosion problem is particularly prevalent in young people, who often grind their teeth at night. This grinding, combined with reflux, can cause irreversible damage to young people’s teeth.
The research team was able to demonstrate that permanent damage to the tooth enamel will occur within the first 30 seconds of high acidity coming into contact with the teeth. In other words, even one drink of an acidic beverage can cause serious lifelong dental problems.
Another problem with that “30 seconds” finding is that children can’t clean their teeth 30 minutes after an acidic drink and expect their teeth to be fine: since the damage occurs so quickly, even speedy teeth brushing may not help.
Why does damage occur?
The main reason why acidic drinks cause damage to our teeth is because our mouths have a delicate balance between natural acids and host projection. When we drink acidic beverages, that balance is shifted in favor of the acids.
There are many different types of acids, but researchers demonstrated that as long as the food or beverage is acidic, tooth enamel damage will occur.
Ultimately, all of these problems can lead to lifelong dental issues. Dental researcher Dr. Sarbin Ranjitkar suggests:
“Such erosion can lead to a lifetime of compromised dental health that may require complex and extensive rehabilitation – but it is also preventable with minimal intervention.”
How can parents prevent their children from developing lifelong dental problems at an early age? Family dentist in Birmingham, Dr. Gentry Gonzales, encourages parents to reduce their children’s consumption of soft drinks:
At Valleydale Dental, we encourage parents to limit their children’s consumption of acidic beverages and make smarter dietary choices.
One of those smarter choices is swapping out high-acidity fruit juices for fresh whole fruit. Fresh fruit, like fruit juice, is naturally acidic. However, fruit juice often has additional food acids in it, which makes whole fruit the healthier option.
Acidic Beverages in Your Home:
Many people are surprised to learn the foods and beverages they drink every day are acidic. Here are some of the most highly acidic drinks you may consume on a regular basis:
-Lime and lemon juice (which has the same 2.00pH acidity level as stomach acid)
-Cranberry juice (2.30 to 2.52pH)
-Coca-Cola Classic (2.53pH)
-Hawaiian Fruit Punch (2.82pH)
-Grapefruit juice (3.00pH)
Of course, many of these beverages come with additional benefits. Fresh fruit, for example, is a vital part of any diet. Just like with anything, moderation is important. Monitor your diet and be aware of the acidic content in your favorite foods and beverages.