A great question was asked the other day by one of our Facebook friends—How acidic is milk or coffee? Often we think about the acidity of sodas or sports drinks, as depicted in the visual we created to explain why acid matters. Tooth enamel starts to break down at pH 5.5, and the root surface of teeth start to break down at pH 6.5. Most sodas, juices, and sports drinks range from pH 2.4 to 4.0. So how about other drinks that often make their way into our daily routine?
We did a little research—coffee on average is reported around pH 5 while milk is far more neutral ranging between pH 6 and pH 7. Another beverage to keep in mind is wine, which averages between pH 3 and pH 4. Food also ranges from acidic to more alkaline (basic). For example, lemons are very acid at pH 2 while egg whites are considered basic at pH 8.
Obviously, we aren’t advocating giving up fruit, coffee, and wine forever, but rather suggest that these beverages are treated as treats. Sipping on acidic beverages all day, as opposed to water, perpetuates the cycle of decay. To learn more about this process and how acid impacts your oral health please visit the Wisconsin Dental Association website. They have put together a number of excellent resources including videos that help explain this process.
Thanks for your question! Keep them coming!