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A Few Bad Apples: How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Affect Your Oral Health?

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 7:59 pm
Some apple cider vinegar on a table that affects oral health

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is often celebrated for its many health benefits, from aiding digestion to boosting immunity. However, many dentists are concerned about its prevalent use in everything from home remedies to salad dressings. But why? Is ACV a friend or foe for your oral health? Continue reading to learn more about ACV and its effects on your smile.

It’s Very Acidic

ACV is highly acidic, with a pH level between 2.5 and 3.0. This acidity can be bad for your teeth because it erodes the hard outer layer known as enamel. This can lead to issues like:

  • Enamel Erosion: Regular exposure to acidic substances like ACV can erode enamel. Once enamel is lost, it doesn’t regenerate, leaving your teeth vulnerable.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Eroded enamel can cause tooth sensitivity, making it painful to consume hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.
  • Cavities: Weakened enamel increases the risk of cavities as bacteria and acids have easier access to the dentin.

Are There Ways to Mitigate Its Effects?

While the vinegar can be harsh on teeth, you don’t have to avoid it entirely. Here are some tips to minimize its impact on your oral health:

  • Dilute It: Always dilute ACV with water. A common ratio is one tablespoon of vinegar to a full eight-ounce glass of water. This reduces the acidity and lessens the risk of enamel erosion.
  • Use a Straw: Drinking ACV or concoctions it’s in through a straw helps minimize contact with your teeth. This simple solution can protect your enamel from direct exposure.
  • Rinse Your Mouth: After consuming ACV, rinse your mouth with water. This helps wash away the acid and reduces its potential to harm your teeth.
  • Wait to Brush: Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after using ACV. The acid softens your enamel, and brushing can cause more damage. Wait at least 30 minutes and then take care of your teeth!
  • Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouthwash: Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and using fluoridated mouthwash can help strengthen your enamel and protect against cavities.

While apple cider vinegar offers numerous health benefits, its acidity can pose a threat to your oral health. By taking precautions, such as diluting ACV and using a straw, you can enjoy its benefits while protecting your teeth. With mindful consumption and proper dental care, you can balance the benefits of ACV with the need to maintain a healthy, strong smile.

About the Practice

Dr. Mark Hochman and Dr. Andrew Betaharon are your talented and professional dental team at La Plata Dental. They strive to help their patients feel great about going to the dentist by offering exceptional dental care and educational resources. If you’re ready for a healthier smile, call (240) 349-2439 to schedule a consultation or visit the website to discover all the treatments and services they offer.

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