Sugar isn't the only dietary factor that can have damaging effects on your smile. Consuming foods and beverages high in acids wear away the protective layer of enamel from your teeth. This process, commonly known as tooth erosion, can quickly change your teeth' appearance and can cause cavities and tooth decay to form.
You can balance the pH level in your mouth by following these seven tips. In doing so, you will make your saliva more alkaline and less acidic, which quickly translates to better oral health.
Why Regulating The pH Of Your Mouth Is Important
The pH scale starts at 1 for being the most acidic and ends at 14, being the most alkaline. Various factors cause acidic pH levels in your saliva, and an acidic saliva pH level lower than 7 can result in significant damage to your teeth. Acidic saliva often leads to one suffering from acid erosion, which can ultimately lead to enamel loss, tooth decay, and cavities.
Tooth erosion is permanent, and once your enamel has started to wear away, it can't be replaced. Enamel erosion can leave you:
- Feeling pain or experiencing sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks
- Noticing a yellow discoloration on the surface of your teeth
- Finding rough spots on your teeth that used to feel smooth
- Facing more significant risks of developing cavities
- Experiencing tooth loss in extreme situations
Focus on a High Alkaline Diet
Watching the foods you eat and the beverages you drink is the most straightforward way to adjust your saliva's pH levels.
Ideally, the more alkaline you can make your saliva, the better your oral health will be. Alkaline pH levels in the mouth of 7.5 or higher will help to remineralize enamel and fight against cavity-causing bacteria. By limiting the acidic foods in your diet and eating foods that are high in alkaline properties, you can increase your saliva pH level and improve your mouth health, too.
Eat More Vegetables
Eating more vegetables is excellent for both your dental and overall health. Many vegetables are alkaline and will help to neutralize the pH in your saliva.
Incorporating the following vegetables into your diet will do great things for your body and your teeth:
- Green beans
- Red bell peppers
Limit Bread and Sugar
One of the most simple ways to make your diet more alkaline is to limit bread and sugary sweets. Carbohydrates take the form of sugar or starches soon after digesting, which lowers your pH levels and makes your saliva more acidic.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sugar alternatives are ok in moderation, but some are better than others. Xylitol, beet sugar and honey are all acidic on the pH scale. Swap these sweeteners for Stevia to support an alkaline saliva pH.
Reduce Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Alcoholic beverages and drinks that are caffeinated all have acidic properties. Limiting your wine intake and only drinking one cup of coffee in the morning is an easy way to keep your saliva pH alkaline. Reducing your intake is a helpful start in making your saliva more balanced.
Incorporate Seeds and Beans
Most seeds and beans are alkaline foods, and they can help to eliminate acidic saliva. A few great options to incorporate into your diet are lima beans, soybeans, sesame seeds, and navy beans.
Wash Away Acidic Foods By Drinking More Water
If you find yourself eating or drinking something with acidic properties, we recommend rinsing your mouth with water immediately afterward. Drinking more water throughout the day can help to keep your saliva balanced and acids under control.
Knowing how the foods and drinks you consume will affect your teeth can help to keep your smile bright and healthy for a lifetime. Contact Tompkins Dental with any dietary questions or for more tips on how to keep your saliva healthy and balanced.