What does pH do to my teeth?

We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. The warning “don’t eat too much candy, you’ll get cavities!” has been impressed in our minds ever since we were children. There’s no denying that the sweet white stuff causes major problems in tooth decay, but it’s not the only factor that affects the health of our teeth.

pH Beverages Flowchart

The pH level of the beverages we drink every day, including soda, tea, and even water can be damaging your tooth enamel with every sip. Even sugar-free beverages can be dangerous! How is this so? Our human saliva has an average pH range of 6.5-7.4. This pH level is a happy, neutral place for our teeth. When the environment in our mouth becomes acidic, or lower than 5.5, the tooth enamel starts to erode or break down, which can result in cavities.

Unfortunately, most flavored drinks tip the scale to the acidic side. One of Verber Dental’s Registered Dental Hygienists, Julie, decided to launch her own project to measure the pH of various beverages. She visited local stores and purchased dozens of bottled drinks, then measured their acidity levels with an electronic digital pH meter. Her data below is very informative.

However, it is good to note that it’s ok to enjoy our favorite things in moderation. While we do not recommend drinking sugary or acidic drinks constantly, enjoying a special beverage on occasion is generally ok. You can also reduce the risk of erosion if you enjoy your beverage with a meal, or rinse or brush your teeth after eating. Happy sipping!

by Meredith Hemperly and Julie Polito

Additional information thanks to:

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