Fight Erosion; Know Beverage pH!

Oftentimes, we will discuss what is good for you and your children to eat to prevent dental ailments like cavities and erosion. But what about when it comes to drinks? It’s common for parents to forget that if their children are drinking something besides (and even including) water, they could be doing more harm to their pearly whites than they thought.

With an ever-changing beverage marketplace and so many different options, it’s no surprise that making a list of beverages often consumed by our children seems never ending. However, a recent study conducted by The Journal of American Dental Association has concluded that beverage pH has a lot to do with the level of tooth erosion drinks are capable of causing.

What is pH, and what does it mean for my child?

pH is a figure that expresses the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a logarithmic scale. Seven is considered neutral, with lower values indicating higher acidity, and higher values more alkaline (or basic). The studies that were conducted indicate that pH is the primary determinant of beverage erosive potential; 379 nonalcoholic beverages were tested and then sorted into one of three categories: minimally erosive, erosive, and extremely erosive. The most acidic drinks were those with a pH of less than 2.4: lemon juice, Coca-Cola, Cherry Coke, and Pepsi. Juice and sports drinks are right at their heels at 2.5!

How does this information help?

Having and understanding this information is of great importance to dentists and parents alike, because it enables dental care practitioners to make appropriate dietary suggestions when counseling patients (and parents of little patients) about the potentially damaging dental effects of acids in the different beverages they drink. Knowledge is power, so as a parent you’ll now be able to reconsider handing your child a fizzy soda as opposed to a more beneficial drink, like water.

If you’re concerned about the effects of what your child is drinking, contact Sunshine Smiles today!