We’ve heard of the corrosive potential of acidic foods on enamel. There are hundreds of articles warning of the dangers of eating too much candy, soda & even healthier foods like fruit without brushing. Hundreds to say the least. But what about alkaline foods? Also known as basic foods, these foods also interact with your mouth’s pH, & as you’d expect, in the opposite manner.
What Are Alkaline Foods?
Alkaline foods have a pH greater than 7. While known for their acidic effects on teeth, many fruits are generally considered alkaline foods, as are nuts, vegetables like lettuce & broccoli & roots like radishes & turnips.
While there is some evidence that eating these foods provides a benefit in balancing the body’s pH, there is little to support these foods having any neutralizing effect on the mouth’s pH. Plus, it’s not a good idea to leave any kind of food in your mouth!
Alkaline water, on the other hand, may help.
Canceling Acidic Foods
Alkaline ionized water provides an instant reduction in your mouth’s acidity. Whereas one study found it could take 6–8 minutes to reach neutral 7 pH with no assistance after drinking soda, drinkers who chased their soda with alkaline water saw a return to neutrality in as little as 10–20 seconds.
Alkaline water “was shown to be useful in preventing dental erosion caused by acidic beverages,” the study, published by the National Institute of Health, states. The study recommended incorporating drinking alkaline water after eating or drinking acidic beverages.
Where’s the Water?
Alkaline water can be purchased at most grocery stores as bottled water. There are also a few ways you can make your tap water alkaline. One is to thinly slice a cucumber into it, which adds a refreshing taste as well.
Alkaline water should not be relied on to prevent tooth decay. Regular brushing as flossing, as well as regular trips to your dentist, are still the most important parts of your preventative care routine.