HOW DOES THE PH LEVELS IN DRINKS AFFECT YOUR TEETH? - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


As a country Australia’s consumption of commercial sugar-sweetened beverages has decreased over the years, with a 14% decrease seen between 2009 and 2017, however in the same period there was a 37% increase in low sugar or ‘health’ type drinks such as flavoured waters, juices, coconut water and kombucha! Advertising of these alternatives to the sugar-laden beverages have worked – almost too well! Unfortunately, these alternatives also impact general health and dental health.

The sneaky component of these drinks which is often misunderstood are the pH levels or acidity of these drinks, not just the sugar contents, which can have devastating impacts on tooth enamel, through enamel demineralisation and dental erosion. Enamel demineralisation is a reduction of mineral content specifically fluoride and calcium ions. Subsequently, this weakens enamel leading to porosity and an increased risk of decay. Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth structures due to acid.

Surprisingly, or not, the end pH levels of beverages are often not published by the manufacturer, and therefore not always available to the consumer. However, in 2020, Schmidt and Huang1, completed a study which ascertained the pH levels of 177 commercially available beverages in Australia. The beverages tested ranged from soft drink, energy drink, juice, still and sparkling bottled water, flavoured water, iced tea, and coconut water to name a few.

A full table can be viewed online, but we have summarised the findings below for a few popular ‘healthy choices’. In general, to avoid irreversible damage to your teeth through dental erosion, patients should limit their consumption of beverages with a pH level of less than 7.0.

Obviously, the consumption of acidic drinks is inevitable from time to time. So what can you do to try to protect your teeth from dental erosion?

  • Use a straw to lessen the contact time with the teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after an acidic beverage.
  • Consuming dairy will help neutralise the acid and leave a protective layer on the teeth.
  • Waiting an hour after an acidic drink to brush the teeth as brushing right away can make things worse. Healthy saliva will remineralise the enamel within the hour after consumption of acidic beverages to its pre-existing hardened state.

If you’re concerned about the state of your teeth due to your beverage of choice, it’s best to get it checked by your dentist. They can recommend specific products and care routines to support your tooth enamel.

Beverage Type

Beverage Name



Mount Franklin®
lightly sparkling



Gatorade® – active
berry water



V8® – vegetable juice


Sports Drink

Maximus® – blue



H2COCO® – coconut


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