For generations, apple cider vinegar has been touted as a remedy for all sorts of things. For example, people have used it to aid their weight loss efforts, improve their complexion, manage their blood sugar, and even get rid of dandruff. But how might it affect your oral health? Can apple cider vinegar harm your teeth? This blog post explains what you should know.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Dental Erosion
The enamel, the outer layer of teeth, is quite durable. However, it can be worn away if it is exposed to large amounts of acid. That is why dentists often warn patients to cut back on things like sports drinks and citrus fruits.
Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar is quite acidic. Its pH can be anywhere from 2.7 to 3.95 (plain water has a pH of around 7). If you consume it frequently or in large amounts, it may weaken your teeth. In fact, a case study from 2012 found that a woman had erosive tooth wear because she drank a glass of apple cider vinegar every day for weight loss.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Whiten Teeth?
Some DIY teeth whitening methods advise you to use apple cider vinegar, perhaps mixed with baking soda, to get rid of dental stains. It is true that the vinegar has bleaching effects, so you could reasonably expect it to brighten up your smile.
However, due to its acidic nature, you should not use it as a substitute for safer whitening products. If you are concerned about dental stains, talk to your dentist. They can help you achieve your aesthetic goals with minimal risk to your oral health.
Tips for Safely Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can have some health benefits, so you should not feel like you have to stop using it. Here are some tips that will help you protect your smile:
- Try swallowing apple cider vinegar capsules instead of drinking it. The capsules will prevent the vinegar from touching your teeth.
- If you drink apple cider vinegar, finish it quickly in order to limit the amount of time that it is contacting your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking apple cider vinegar.
- Keep up with a good oral hygiene routine and eat plenty of foods that can strengthen your teeth, including those that are rich in calcium.
Apple cider vinegar might benefit your overall health, but it is not great for your teeth. Take steps to protect your smile so you can enjoy whole-body wellness.
Meet the Practice
Four Town Dental features an expert team of general dentists and specialists, all of whom are committed to providing top-quality care for our community. If you have questions about how you can protect your teeth, we would be pleased to speak with you. Get in touch with our Enfield office at 860-856-6928.