If there was a category about oral health on Jeopardy no one would pick it. Let’s face it, for something that we use every single day to eat, drink and talk we know basically nothing about our mouths. But don’t fret just yet, we are going to talk about everything you need to know to understand the state of your mouth and become an informed mouth owner and user: starting with pH.
Most of us probably remember the pH scale from science class. But did you know that your mouth fluctuates on the pH scale? In case you’ve forgotten, the pH scale goes from 1 to 14, from most acidic to most alkaline. This means that a pH of 7 is neutral. With that in mind, teeth begin to demineralize at a pH of 5.5. When teeth demineralize they are at a higher risk for cavities/tooth decay. In order for your mouth to be healthy you need to maintain a pH level at or above neutral.
Now we put that into action. We know that acid weakens our teeth but where can this acid come from? Food is a main culprit. It’s important that when you eat highly acidic foods it’s done in moderation. Or you sip on some water after to restore the pH balance in your mouth. Maintaining a high pH can actually help your teeth to become stronger and remineralize, which prevents and even reverses cavities.