Soft Teeth

Foods and Beverages that affect your oral health

The term "soft teeth" is simply a way of describing teeth susceptible to cavities. Teeth prone to cavities can result from a variety of factors such as hygiene and diet; however the term "soft teeth" is not a medical one.

Many claims of soft teeth can be explained by an inconsistent hygienic routine, regular intake of junk food, candy and soda or a lack of fluoridated water. When the teeth are not properly cleaned–particularly after eating–bacteria can break down enamel and cause cavities. Regular exposure to sugars increases the rate of enamel breakdown by feeding harmful bacteria. The mineral fluoride helps prevent cavities by remineralizing and strengthening the enamel. When fluoride and other minerals are absent, teeth are increasingly susceptible to decay.

pH levels in common drinks according to Dimensions of Dental Hygiene:

  • AMP Energy Drink (8 oz) – 2.7
  • Coca-Cola Soft Drink (8 oz) – 2.5
  • Coffee (8 oz) – 5.5
  • Full Throttle Energy Drink (8 oz) – 1.45
  • Gatorade Sports Drink (12 oz) – 3.4
  • Monster Energy Drink (8 oz) – 2.7
  • Mountain Dew Soft Drink (8 oz) – 3.2
  • Powerade Sports Drink (12 oz) – 2.6
  • Red Bull Energy Drink (8.3 oz) – 3.3
  • Rock Star Energy Drink (8 oz) – 1.5

pH levels in other drinks according to Northwest Dentistry, March-April 2001:

  • Sprite – 3.42
  • Pepsi – 2.49
  • Diet Pepsi – 3.05
  • Dr. Pepper – 2.92
  • Squirt – 2.85
  • Lipton's Iced Tea – 3.86
  • Nestea Iced Tea – 3.04
  • Snapple Plain Tea – 3.93

More pH levels according to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio:

  • white vinegar – 3
  • lemon juice – 3 cranberry-apple
  • juice – 3

Dr. Beasley says he sees a lot of patients that consume high acid drinks on a regular basis. "[They are] constantly coating their teeth with acid. It's not quick exposure which isn't good either, but they are constantly bathing their teeth in acid" Again, there are several drinks that are high in acid. Fruit juice is an example.

If you don't want to give up your favorite beverage, there are a few things you can do to help lessen the affects of acid.