Can you believe summer starts now? Wow! That means nearly half of the year is over! With the recent high temperatures, it’s easy to grab something cold to cool you down. However, beware of what you are drinking to cool you down!
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (April 2016), researchers purchased 379 separate drinks on a local food store … basically anything they could find that was made for drinking. They then did something very simple: they opened up each one of the drinks and measured the pH – which for us non-rocket scientists, pH is the acidity of a substance. pH ranges from 1-14, 1 being the most acidic substance and 14 being the least acidic (or what is termed the most basic). No drink was left unturned, whether it be sports drinks, fruit flavored waters, sodas, carbonated waters, or even plain waters.
What did they discover?
Nearly every single drink they opened had a very acidic pH, which (based on the drink) was from a low of 2.25 to a high of 3.15. This would make the vast majority of the drinks extremely erosive with only a few in the minimally erosive category. Municipal water (water from your faucet) was the only one with a neutral pH (7) and it was slightly basic (also called alkaline), at a reading of 7.2. Even Dasani water was a full 2 points below neutral pH.
What does this mean to you? The first thing is to remember that drinking store-bought drinks (or drink additives) is causing harm to your teeth. What type of harm? For one, it is eating away your enamel, slowly and painlessly. Second, it is slowly causing your teeth to become more sensitive. Third, you are having more cavities form because of the excess acid. Fourth, fillings, crowns, and other restorations are de-bonding from your teeth because the acid is strong and relentlessly eating away at the bond strength. Now, this is only the dental aspect. What it is doing to your gastrointestinal system is another issue, just as relevant to your health.
What can you do? Get used to drinking water. Green tea (made at home) will not alter the pH much and has health benefits. If you need a sweetener, use Stevia (pure Stevia). Limit your intake of other beverages, any of which contain acids (just read the labels). I know, I know: water is boring. However, after a while it quits being so boring, you’re better hydrated (and probably get less headaches), you’ll lose weight, and you’ll give your body a chance to rid it of many of the toxins we all take in from our food supply.
Want a soda (Coke Classic, pH of 2.37)? Sure, have one! What about Gatorade (pH of 3.01)? Absolutely! However, if you just must do that, rinse out with water as soon as you can finish the drink, and having that drink in as short a time as possible. People who sip on these type drinks all day eventually come in with 3, 4, 8, 10 cavities when they haven’t had them in years, and they are always shocked that they could still be getting cavities. Again, the acid is slow, painless, and relentless, stripping your teeth of its protective coating (enamel) and causing the problems I mentioned earlier.
I hope you’ll take to heart what I’ve just written. It will save you all sorts of health issues and associated costs.