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4 Non-Acidic Drinks to Help You Avoid Enamel Erosion

Your teeth are covered in a hard outer layer of enamel, and as tough as it is, it's not indestructible. Grinding your teeth, brushing with too much force, and consuming acidic foods can all cause enamel to erode, leaving you with tooth sensitivity or other issues. Learn about the best non-acidic drinks for your teeth and why they're great beverage options.

If your dentist has mentioned enamel erosion to you or you're concerned about your teeth's health, one of the best things you can do is minimize the number of acidic beverages you drink. Choosing drinks that aren't bad for teeth over indulgences such as soda, coffee, and alcohol won't help repair your enamel. Still, it won't damage it either, which can save you from the discomfort of tooth decay down the line.

Dairy Milk

Although fresh milk is slightly acidic – with a pH of 6.5 to 6.9 (7 is neutral) – the calcium acts as a buffer between the slight acidity and your teeth. Milk is high in calcium, which happens to be the main component of enamel. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that people who drank milk and ate yogurt had fewer dental erosion occurrences.

What if you can't drink dairy milk? There are many dairy-alternatives available in stores that are fortified with calcium. However, keep in mind that many of these products have added sugar that can damage your teeth. Look at nutrition labels and see if a non-dairy substitute fits your needs.

Plain, Still Water

Milk is not the only drink available if you want to avoid enamel erosion. Water is another good pick. Although it doesn't have the enamel-building calcium in milk, most public water supplies contain fluoride, which plays a significant part in strengthening tooth enamel. Also, because it doesn't contain sugar, water doesn't put you at any risk for tooth decay in the process. Carbonated or flavored sparkling waters may have acidic ingredients, so drinking still water is the best.

Tea

A cup of tea – hold the sugar – can also be a good pick for your teeth. Green tea is a good source of antioxidants. Black and green tea also tend to be high in polyphenols, which the University of Rochester notes for their ability to keep your teeth's enamel healthy and protected against erosion and decay.

Vegetable Juices or Green Smoothies Low in Sugar

Baby spinach, kale, celery, and other vegetables can easily be turned into juices or smoothies. As long as you don't pile on the sugar, this is a quick and easy way to add calcium, essential vitamins, and nutrients to your diet without compromising your enamel.

There may still be a time when you feel like having a glass of wine, soda, or coffee. And that's okay – even if acid erosion is high on your list of concerns, you don't necessarily need to cut those beverages out of your life. Instead, enjoy them in moderation, preferably alongside a meal. Remember, you can also use a straw for drinking them, limiting the acid's contact with your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash at the end of the meal can also keep the surface of your teeth nice and strong.

Remember that even the lowest-acid diet isn't a substitute for oral hygiene habits. If you're concerned about losing enamel, you can also start brushing with fluoride toothpaste, which helps to replenish the natural calcium and strengthen your smile. Your dental hygienist might recommend additional treatments, such as fluoride varnish, to further protect your teeth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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