As a family dentist, we know the best way to fight diseases and decay is for you to be extremely educated and understand the things you can do to help us to help you keep your teeth in the best possible health. Sometimes, we provide the simplest information, like teaching the newest members of our dental family the importance of having a regular schedule for their oral health and hygiene routines. At other times, we have to talk about different things that can be a little bit more complicated. When it comes to addressing matters concerning your diet, then the conversation can be very complex. This is because, despite really wanting to listen to their family dentist, most people are very committed to their diet, especially when it comes to the things we like to drink. Recently, there have been many conversations, mostly with the family dentist at the forefront, about the levels of pH we have in the things our families love to drink.
Before we start to talk about pH levels, it is important as a family dentist to take a step back and realize that every item you put into your mouth has a direct impact on your oral health. The bacteria that are a natural part of your oral ecosystem thrive on the food you eat and the drinks you consume. Depending on what you eat or drink, the bacteria will work faster or slower to ultimately decay your enamel. With this in mind, it is important to have balance in what you eat or drink, which is where your family dentist can help you understand the importance of things like the pH levels in drinks. Small things can make a world of difference between healthy, perfect teeth and ongoing challenges that require restorative or emergency work. So let’s talk about pH levels and how they are important in preserving your teeth.
When you are learning about pH levels, it is a quick course in science. Chemistry sees every substance as either being acidic or alkaline. To do this, each chemical compound is assigned a pH level. For example, Coca-Cola has a pH level of 2.5, making it extremely acidic. By way of comparison, battery acid has a pH level of 0.0 and water has a pH level of 7. For a family dentist, we use water as a baseline to compare foods. Anything with a pH level of higher than 7 is alkaline and probably not going to do immediate damage to your teeth, while anything below 7 is considered to be acidic and you should make sure you clean your teeth after eating or drinking something like this. The acid in foods that have a lower pH level will leech out the minerals in your teeth, and ultimately, this will make the enamel weak, which can lead to sensitivity, or worse, cavities. After you have eaten or drank something like a coke, it is always advisable to wait around 30 minutes and then brush your teeth to reduce the level of damage caused by the acids.