One of the most common causes of dental problems is dental decay/dental caries, also known as cavities. Cavities begin gradually by the softening of enamel and tooth structure. The process of decay progresses to the inner layers of the tooth, dentin, and sometimes the pulp (blood vessels and nerve tissue within the tooth). It is ideal to treat a dental cavity before it extends into the pulp of the tooth. And it is best to keep cavities from forming at all.
Beverages contribute to the process of tooth decay by causing demineralization of teeth (softening the tooth). There are different acids that are added to beverages for taste. Phosphoric acid is added to colas to increase shelf life, prevent bacterial growth, and provide tartness. Citric acid gives drinks a tangy flavor and also acts as preservative. Malic acid, which naturally occurs is apples and pears is often added for flavoring and sweetness to drinks. The more acidic a drink is, the more likely that it is to contribute to tooth erosion. Once the pH of the mouth becomes lower than 4.0, tooth erosion begins. Enamel goes through more demineralization as the pH approaches a 2.0.
Water helps reverse the process of demineralization. So does fluoride. Fluoride contributes to remineralization. If you consume a drink or beverage that is not water, try to drink water afterwards. Do not brush right after consuming an acidic beverage, because this mechanically wears on a softer enamel surface. Limit drinks to mealtimes because the flow of saliva increases while eating. Saliva helps rebuild enamel.
Root beer has a pH of 4.27, making it less acidic than many juices or other beverages. It contains less acidic additives, and is less likely to contribute to dental erosion.
If you are concerned about your dental health, and would like to discuss ways to rebuild and strengthen your enamel, contact us at Museum Smiles Dentistry. A healthy mouth is the gateway to a healthy body. We proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller, and Fort Worth areas.