The  problem with many foods and drinks is that they are naturally acidic.  This means that they cause damage to your teeth even more quickly than sugary foods.  You can measure the acidity of a product by the pH value, the lower the pH the higher the acidity. Here are some examples below: Just note that anything less than pH 5.4 causes damage to your teeth. Having acidic drinks at mealtimes makes them less harmful and continuous sipping is more harmful than consuming the whole drink at once.  Drinking through a straw can also reduce the contact between the acidic drink and your teeth. It is also good practice to rinse your mouth with water when you have finished drinking fizzy drinks.

Carbonated drinks
Lemonade, orangeade, cola etc. (sugar and sugar free) 2.7 – 3.2
Diluted drinks
Sugar free whole orange drink 3.1 – 3.7
Herbal teas
Rosehip, apple and hibiscus 3.0 – 3.2
Mineral water
Still 7.6
Sparkling fizzy water 3 – 4
Alcohol
Lager/bitter 4.0
Red wine 2.9 – 3.9
Cider 3.2

 

The lower the pH, the more acidic the food or drink is!

Coke 2.6
Lemonade 2 – 3
Grapefruit 3 – 3.3
Strawberry jam 3 – 3.4
Apple juice 2.9 – 3.3
Pineapple juice 3
Red wine 2.9 – 3.9
White wine 2.9 – 3.9
Sugar free whole orange drink 3.1 – 3.7
Fizzy water 3 – 4
Salad dressing 3.5 – 3.7
Orange juice 3.7
Ketchup 3.8
Strawberry yoghurt 4
Beer 4
Cheese 5.1 – 5.9
Milk 6.7
Still water 7.6

 

At pH 5.4 or lower, foods or drinks are adequate to dissolve the enamel which is the surface layer of the tooth. Acid erosion starts to occur and the enamel will show signs of thinning!

At pH 6.5 the next layer of the tooth known as dentine starts to dissolve. At this stage, the enamel layer has dissolved away and no longer protects the dentine. Once this layer is affected, the next layer is the pulp chamber and this is where the nerve lives!