We all know water is a great way to rehydrate, but sometimes water can start to feel a little boring. One way to add natural flavor to your water is to infuse it with fruits. Fruit-infused water can be a delicious, healthful substitute for soda or other drinks with high sugar content, but how does it affect your teeth?
Acidic Fruits, Water, and Your Enamel
Lemons and other citrus fruit are extremely acidic, and they can be harmful to your teeth if consumed too often. Lemon juice has a pH level of about 2, which is a similar to the acidity level of gastric acid, and enamel starts to erode at pH levels of 5.70 or lower. Drinking a lot of water that contains citrus fruits can contribute to weakening enamel.
However, citrus fruits are not the only other fruits that have a low pH level. Other acidic fruits include:
• Strawberries (pH 3.00 – 3.99)
• Peaches (pH 3.30 – 4.05)
• Grapes (pH 2.80 – 3.82)
• Mangos (pH 3.40 – 4.80)
• Pineapple (pH 3.20 – 4.00)
What Happens When Enamel Starts to Erode?
Exposing teeth to acidic food can result in enamel erosion. When enamel weakens, teeth can become sensitive or discolored over time. Teeth that do not have strong enamel are more likely to become damaged. Once enamel is gone, it cannot be restored, so this is why it is important to prevent erosion as much as possible.
Should You Drink Infused Water?
Infused water has a lower sugar content than soda or fruit juices, so it can still be a good summer beverage if you take steps to minimize acid exposure. You can do this by balancing the amount of infused water you drink so that it is not your main source of water. Drinking from a straw can also reduce your teeth’s exposure to the infused water.
You can also try changing the types of ingredients you are infusing your water with for a less acidic drink. If you need inspiration, try a strawberry and basil water or cucumber and mint water.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your oral health.