Your Healthy Family

May 2, 2014 6:38 PM by Annie Snead

Your Healthy Family: Harmful Drinks for Teeth

When it comes to our teeth, many of us want to do everything to protect them.
We spoke with a local dentist about some of the most harmful drinks and foods for our teeth - and they may surprise you.
"It could be in energy drinks, it could be in sports drinks, even in bottled water that they add flavoring too, even though the water looks clear, it has what we call a PH," said Dr. Fred Guerra, with Guerra Dental.
That PH is a measure of acidity and Dr. Guerra says the range is from 1 to 14.
"1 might be considered battery acid and anything up in the higher range the 13's and 14's is certainly beneficial for your teeth. We don't find many drinks up in that high range but milk might be a 7, water is a 7," he said.
The lower the number the more dangerous.
Dr. Guerra says the acid in things like diet sodas - wears away the outer covering of our enamel.
"And once that outer covering has been removed the tooth is very susceptible to extreme wear. Because if you put acid on your teeth for a lot and now you just take a tooth brush and you brush the acid on the tooth surfaces, it even exacerbates it faster," Guerra said.
So it's not so much about the amount but the frequency.
"Meaning - to take it to the extreme, if you drank a gallon of soda in five minutes, rinsed your mouth out versus brushed, it might not be as bad as drinking a 16 ounce can of soda over a prolonged period because that acid is always in contact with the teeth," he said.
Dr. Guerra adds he's also seen people who were eating a healthy diet - like fish and salad - but the dressing had a very high acidic content.
So while you may be eating the right food, sometimes it's what's on the food that could cause a problem as well.

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