The acidity levels within your child’s mouth have a significant impact on the health of their teeth. It is important to keep pH in mind to minimize the likelihood of cavities and ensure that your children’s teeth remain as healthy as possible. If you are ever concerned regarding the pH level within your child’s mouth, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment to examine their smile. This can go a long way toward protecting their teeth and ensuring that they have a healthy, beautiful smile. The pH levels of the mouth are the environment surrounding the teeth. When the environment is acidic, damage can occur to the teeth. When the environment leans more toward the alkaline side, teeth are often much healthier.
What is pH?
The pH level of your mouth is the measure of the acidity levels. The pH scale is measured from 0 to 14. The higher on the pH scale the substance is, the more alkaline it is. Alternatively, lower numbers indicate higher levels of acidity present in the substance. A pH level of 7 generally means that the substance is at a neutral acidity level, which is often the healthiest for the mouth when it comes to oral health. Pure water is often close to a pH level of 7. A pH level that is too low can result in substantial amounts of damage to the teeth.
Common Signs of Acidity
If your acidity levels are exceedingly high, it can cause significant damage to your teeth. There are a few common signs that can help you to identify this. If you have prolonged or consistent bad breath, it is possible that the pH levels of your mouth are too low. Teeth that are sensitive to cold or hot temperatures or teeth that experience frequent cavity formation can all indicate the presence of high acidity levels.
How Acidity Impacts your Teeth
Acidity causes an extensive amount of damage to the teeth. When pH levels slide below 5.5, it can begin to do damage to the teeth. Acidity levels that are indicated by this level ultimately lead to demineralization. When teeth begin to be demineralized, the layer of enamel that protects them begins to wear down. This can lead to cavities and ultimately further damage to the teeth. It is important to keep the acidity levels within your mouth to a minimum in order to effectively protect your teeth. In addition, you must also keep in mind that it is the length of time that your teeth are exposed to acidity, rather than the type of acidity they are exposed to, that has the most significant impact on your teeth. The longer the teeth are exposed to acidity, the more damage will likely occur.
What Causes High Acidity
There are multiple ways that high acidity can occur with your oral health. It is most often caused by the foods that you eat. A diet that is high in acidic foods will likely increase the acidity of the saliva. Other conditions, such as those that involve acid reflux or vomiting, may also increase the acidity level of the mouth. Specific medications may also add to the acidity level of the mouth. Sugary foods and beverages frequently add to the acidity of the mouth. In fact, harmful bacterium take sugars, metabolize them, and produce acid from them. This acid then results in demineralization to the teeth. Soda is an incredibly common culprit of high acid levels within the mouth.
How to Obtain a Healthy pH Level
Taking the steps to restore a healthy pH balance to your mouth can go a long way toward protecting your teeth. Implementing a healthy balance is important, because it allows both good and bad bacteria to remain in equal parts. Some bacteria is harmless, while others, like probiotics, aid in digestion. Others types of bacteria help to protect the gums and the teeth. The first step in maintaining a healthy pH level of your mouth is to test your current pH levels. This can be done with the use of pH testing paper that can test the acidity levels of your saliva. Knowing your existing pH levels can help you to make the best decisions to reduce the acidity levels of your mouth.
The diet you maintain has the biggest impact on your pH levels. Adding vegetables, reducing breads, and adding seeds can go a long way toward reducing acidity levels of your smile. Saliva helps to neutralize acid, but acidic foods may increase the acidity levels of the saliva. Limit your soda consumption as much as possible to prevent the acid from damaging your teeth. Try to prevent your children from drinking soda. If drinking soda isn’t entirely avoidable, encourage them to use a straw and to drink soda in a single sitting, rather than sipping on it throughout the day. Every time they take a sip from their soda, they are exposing their teeth to an additional acid attack. Regularly drinking water can help to wash food particles and acidic substances from the surface of the teeth. Chewing gum between meals can similarly help to reduce acidity.
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There are additional tools and implements that can be used to reduce acidity and provide a balanced pH level for your child’s mouth. For example, pH neutralizing oral sprays and gels can help to minimize acid levels. Acidity has a significant impact on the health of the teeth. It is important to ensure that your children’s mouth maintain a healthy pH level to prevent their teeth from sustaining the damage caused by excessive acidity. It is similarly important for them to brush regularly and take the steps necessary to protect and strengthen their teeth. Here at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide your children with all of the dental services they need to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. If you are concerned regarding acidity levels and require more information on how to lower these levels, contact our office today!