Whether it's a holiday or family gathering, meals are the centrepiece of many events. Food is judged on a variety of criteria, though, and not all of them are favourable to oral health.
How does it taste? Am I getting enough protein or carbs? How long will it take me to work this off at the gym? It's just as important to focus on the effects certain foods have on the mouth, in particular acidic foods, which can wear away the protective layer of tooth enamel very easily. Here's how high-alkaline foods can counteract these effects.
A food's pH level tells you if it is acidic or alkaline. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 and each level below 7 (the acidity level of saliva) is considered acidic. Levels above 7 are alkaline. Our body's normal pH level is just above neutral (about 7.4). Consuming highly acidic foods can throw the pH level of your mouth out of balance for some time after you've eaten.
A typically low pH level can actually make a person more susceptible to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, higher pH levels lower your risk for stroke and hypertension while showing notable improvements in memory and cognition. High-alkaline foods negate the effects of highly acidic foods by bringing the body's pH level back to its normal range.
An alkaline-based diet starts and ends with fruits and veggies. Whether or not a food is alkaline has to do with how it metabolizes in the body and not with its composition. For example, lemons and apple cider vinegar are classified as alkaline. Most fruits and vegetables fall right in the middle of the pH range on the acid/alkaline scale, whereas breads, dairy products, meats and fish are all very acidic. The Acid Alkaline Diet offers a chart detailing not only high-alkaline foods, but also acidic foods.
Alkaline Impact on Teeth
Because high-alkaline foods neutralise the effects acidic foods have on your pH level, the same process comes into play with regard to tooth erosion. Highly acidic foods wear away the protective enamel on teeth due to their low pH level. Consuming more foods in the alkaline pH range won't contribute to tooth erosion, since they don't hinder the remineralisation process your teeth are always undergoing.
Most people know eating nutritious food is good for their health, but they tend not to think of the positive impact those same foods have on their teeth. Like anything in life, balance and moderation are key when it comes to eating acidic and alkaline foods. This is important, alongside practising a good dental hygiene routine to maintain good oral health that shows every day. Brush twice a day and floss daily, and you'll strengthen your enamel despite the effects of even the most acidic foods.