You may not think much about pH levels when it comes to your smile. However, pH plays a major role in your dental health. To reduce the presence of cavity causing bacteria, it is important to find ways to balance or neutralize the pH of your mouth.
How can we change our oral pH? The most influential factor in your mouth pH is the foods and drinks you consume. If you consume acidic foods and drinks, you’ll find yourself at risk for enamel erosion and tooth decay. Your enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5 or lower. To put this in perspective, consider the following chart:
- Water – 7.0
- Milk – 6.6
- Black Coffee – 5.0
- Coke – 2.6
- Battery Acid – 1.0
To bring your oral pH to a healthier level, consider adding more foods and drinks that are higher on the alkaline spectrum. These include dairy products, spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, blueberries, peas and mangos. In fact, cheese has recently been proven as a key booster in your smile health because it raises your plaque pH levels. Stay away from sodas and energy drinks. Even coffee is considered an acidic beverage. If you do indulge in some acidic choices, be mindful to rinse with water or chew sugarless gum after you are done. This will help wash away acids on your teeth and stimulate salvia production within your mouth, with is a natural pH neutralizer.
If you are suffering from frequent cavities despite your diligent hygiene efforts, ask your dentist about the pH of your mouth. When an acidic pH has compromised your smile, you may notice discoloration and/or tooth sensitivity caused from enamel erosion. At Mitzi Morris, DMD, we want to protect your smile in every way we can. We always take the time to educate our patients on the powerful impact their diet can have on their smile health.