You probably already know that brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Did you know, though, that some toothpaste could wear down the enamel of your teeth? It’s important to understand the pH levels of the products you put in your mouth so that you don’t demineralize the protective outer layer. Keep reading to learn more about why the acidity of your toothpaste is so important.
Why Does pH Matter for My Teeth?
A substance’s pH (potential of hydrogen) value measures its acidity or basicity on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 (pure water) representing complete neutrality. The lower the number, the more acidic something is. For a frame of reference, lemon juice’s pH level is 2 while baking soda’s is 9.5. In general, the human body has a pH of about 7.4.
Because you have your own pH level, anything lower than that number is considered acidic for you. Oral care products with a pH of 5.5 or lower begin to demineralize the enamel of your pearly whites. Without enough nutrients, it begins to deteriorate. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria.
How Do I Know the pH Level of My Toothpaste?
It’s unfortunate, but you won’t typically find the pH value of your toothpaste listed on the container. A lot of commercially available toothpaste is fortified with fluoride, however, which actually restores the mineral content of your teeth. That means it builds them up instead of breaking them down. You can always ask your dental office about which products they recommend if you’re not confident that yours are safe for your mouth.
Which Toothpaste Is Best for Me?
A perfectly healthy mouth has a pH balance that’s close to neutral. It’s neither too acidic nor too alkaline. You can keep it that way by eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and making good lifestyle choices. For example, cigarettes have a pH value of 5.46 so smoking them hurts your teeth. Also, eating a variety of leafy greens gives you the calcium you need to keep your bones strong.
Visiting your dentist can help you determine whether your tooth enamel is as robust as it needs to be. Then, based on their findings, they might recommend certain products to strengthen your teeth if necessary.
If you are worried about the acidity of your toothpaste, call your dentist. They’ll let you know if there’s any cause for concern or give you information about something different to try if they feel it’s necessary. Then you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re doing everything you can to boost your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M and then pursued his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. He also regularly participates in ongoing educational courses to reinforce his skills and learn new technologies and techniques. He uses the latest instruments to provide efficient and effective treatment to improve your oral health. His friendly staff keeps you comfortable your entire visit and can provide warm towels and blankets, or even sedation dentistry if you’re anxious. You’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (903) 561-1122.