Central Brisbane Dental is open and following COVID-19 safety standards.

Central Brisbane Dental

Our Blog

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Are You Drinking Acid?

Dr. Vincent Wan


We have all heard about how bad sugar is for your teeth and how it causes tooth decay.  Did you know acid is just as bad if not worse for your teeth than sugar?

Acid directly wears away tooth enamel through erosion of the tooth surface.  The softened tooth enamel is then more prone to breakdown by frictional forces during eating and cleaning the teeth.  Bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease flourish in an acidic environment, and tooth structure dissolves so our saliva’s protective ability to repair and remineralise tooth structure cannot occur effectively, while damage may be accelerated.

Patients who suffer from acid reflux are particularly prone to tooth damage.  Acidic drinks, however, is the most common risk.  Unhealthy choices like soft drinks, energy drinks, beer and wine are all acidic.  Even supposedly healthy fruit juices are particularly acidic, with citrus ones being the most.  Lemon, lime or orange flavoured drinks also become more acidic due to their addition.  So stay away from lemon tea and avoid adding lemon or lime to flavour your water.  Caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee may not be acidic themselves, but they have a dehydrating  effect and make your teeth more prone to damage by limiting their protection by your saliva.

To combat the damaging effects of acidic drinks, have as much water as you have an acidic drink.  The water helps neutralise the acid and boosts your saliva and allows it to help buffer acid and repair dissolving enamel.  Better still, drink all acidic drinks through a straw to bypass your teeth so they don’t come into contact with the acid.  It is noted that sometimes only females are given straws with their drinks at some restaurants.  Don’t let embarrassment stop you from asking the waiter or waitress for a straw.  Whether we are male or female, our teeth are prone to damage by acid and their protection is more important.