Which Drinks Are WORST For Teeth?
In case you missed it, here’s the question:
Rank these in order of best to worst for your teeth: Gatorade, Skim Milk, Mountain Dew, Coca Cola, Orange Juice
We got over 30 guesses, and 2 correct responses which are (from best to worst):
- Skim Milk
- Orange Juice
- Mountain Dew
- Coca Cola
How Did We Get The Results?
Thanks to 21st Century Dental, we can compare the pH levels (acidity) and sugar content of a HUGE list of liquids. For comparison purposes, battery acid has an acidity of 1.0 on the pH scale (VERY acidic), and water has a neutral pH of 7.0.
|Drink||pH (acidity)||Sugar (in 12 oz.)|
|Skim Milk||6.8||3.5 teaspoons|
|Orange Juice||3.3||Depends on Type|
|Mountain Dew||3.22||11 teaspoons|
|Coca Cola||2.53||9.3 teaspoons|
Why Is This Important?
Our mouths are designed to function best within a specific range of acidity levels (pH). More acidic drinks and foods (lower pH) can eat away at teeth enamel and give cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.
These bacteria feed on sugar and multiply much more quickly when they have a lot to feed on. Sugary drinks provide lots of food for these bacteria, especially when your child sips them all day instead of drinking a single serving in one sitting.
What Parents Need to Know
We highly recommend that kids drink water instead of sugary drinks such as sodas, fruit juices, and sports drinks. Everything is fine in moderation, and we certainly don’t want to discourage the occasional treat!
But be careful not to let your child sip all day on a sugary drink. Instead, enjoy the drink with a meal in a shorter period of time.
Regular teeth brushing and flossing is your best defense against cavity-causing bacteria buildup.
Have More Questions?
Here are a few other resources you may find useful:
- The best toothbrushes for children
- The best toothpaste for children
- How to prepare a child for fillings
- The importance of the Age 1 (or first) dental visit
- Top 10 Myths about Children’s Teeth