How Acidic Drinks Can Damage Your Teeth

How Acidic Drinks Can Damage Your Teeth
Posted on 05/17/2018

At Affiliated Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our mission is to help our patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. We're proud to do that by offering high-quality pediatric dental and orthodontic care to patients throughout the Scottsdale and North Phoenix areas. We believe patient education is a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile. You probably already know that daily brushing and flossing is vital to a healthy smile, but did you know your diet also plays a critical role in dental health? That includes what you drink. Sugary, acidic drinks are some of the most overlooked causes of dental tooth decay, so we've compiled the 10 best and worst drinks for your teeth!

The 10 Worst Drinks for Your Teeth

Drinks that contain high levels of sugars and acids can wreak havoc on teeth. The acids weaken and corrode tooth enamel.  Bacteria breaks down these liquid sugars and create even more acids that further damage teeth and cause cavities. To better understand this, remember that acidity is measured on a pH scale from 0 to 14. 7 is neutral.   An acidic substance is something with a pH lower than 7. The lower the pH, the more acidic something is.  For reference, your stomach acid has a pH of 2.0, and battery acid has a pH of 1.0. Acidic, sugary drinks are a one-two punch to your teeth. These are the 10 worst drinks for dental health:

  • Sunny Delight: pH of 2.40 with 6.3 tsp of sugar
  • Pepsi: pH of 2.49 with 9.8 tsp of sugar
  • Coke Classic: pH of 2.53 with 9.3 tsp of sugar
  • SoBe Strawberry Grape: pH of 2.60 with 6.5 tsp of sugar
  • Country Time Lemonade: pH of 2.50 with 5.4 tsp of sugar
  • Orange Crush: pH of 2.70 with 10.5 tsp of sugar
  • Powerade: pH of 2.75 with 15 grams of sugar
  • Orange Minute Maid: pH of 2.80 with 11.2 tsp of sugar
  • Mellow Yellow: pH of 2.80 with 10.1 tsp of sugar
  • Hawaiian Fruit Punch: pH of 2.82 with 10.2 tsp of sugar

The 10 Best Drinks for Your Teeth

So now you know what to avoid – but what should you drink to support dental health? Without a doubt, the best option is water. Water contains no sugars and has a neutral pH of 7.0, which means it's neither acidic nor basic (a base is the opposite of an acid). Drinking clean water helps to wash away sugars and acids, protecting your teeth from decay. However, there are many other tooth-friendly drinks as well. Here are some of the best drinks for your teeth, each with a pH very close to neutral (7.0) and little to no sugars:

  • Tap Water
  • Mineral Water
  • 2% Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Water
  • Coconut Milk
  • Whole Milk
  • Unsweetened Herbal Tea
  • Unsweetened Green Tea
  • Club Soda

Contact Your Scottsdale, AZ Pediatric Dentist

We hope you found this list informative, and in the future, we encourage you to avoid any of the drinks in the first list! If you have more questions about how your diet affects dental health or your oral health in general, we'd be happy to answer them. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, or request an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you, and we wish you luck in keeping your drinking habits tooth-friendly!