drinking sodaThere are people who simply sip and swallow their beverages, and then there are swishers. Swishers have to swish every sip around and through their teeth before swallowing. It doesn’t matter the beverage. It can be soda, coffee, wine, etc. When non-swishers drink a beverage, it moves quickly past their teeth making little contact. When swishers drink a beverage, it is held in their mouth long enough to begin dissolving tooth structure. In today’s blog, your Ankeny, IA, family dentist, Dr. Ericka Peddicord, discusses what to swish and what not to swish.

It Is Okay To Swish

Salt Water: Salt water has been accepted as an oral rinse in China since 2700 B.C, and a recent study shows salt water is effective in killing oral bacteria by dehydrating it. To get the most from a salt water rinse the water should be saturated–a mixture of 9 teaspoons of salt per 2/3 cup of water. When using a salt water rinse, be thorough, making sure to swish several times between your teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide has been used for centuries as an oral rinse. High concentrations or overuse can dissolve tooth enamel and irritate oral and gingival tissue. However, swishing with 3% hydrogen peroxide for 5 seconds is safe and effective to prevent bacteria from building up on your teeth and gums, and turning into a harmful plaque biofilm.  After swishing, rinse twice with water to remove residual peroxide from enamel. This can be repeated daily, or a few times a week.

It Is Not Okay To Swish

Wine: Wine is highly acidic. Swishing it between your teeth can erode tooth structure and dissolve enamel.

Soda: It was thought that because diet sodas don’t contain sugar that they are not as bad for your health. However, when it comes to dental health it is not only sugars that can do damage, acids can cause serious damage to dentition. Soda contains the following acids:

  • Citric Acid: Citric acid is one of the worse things for your teeth. It erodes enamel and can decrease your tooth structure. Citric acid is found in fruit juice, fruity sodas, and sour candies.
  • Phosphoric Acid:  Swishing phosphoric acid has been compared to putting battery acid on your teeth. The lower the pH the higher the acidity, and phosphorous is low in pH (2.47 to 3.35). In comparison, the human mouth has a pH of 6.7 to 7.0. Phosphoric acid is used in soda as an additive to prevent mold, and to add tartness to decrease the sweetness.
  • Carbonic Acid: Carbonic acid is the least harmful of the three acids, and is a byproduct of the carbonation process.

Fruit Juice: Citric acid is found in fruit juice, and most juices have a pH of 3.5 to 4.0. Again, the lower the pH the higher the acidity.

About Your Ankeny Dentist

Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. Dr. Peddicord can answer your inquiries, and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please contact us at 515-963-3339. Our Ankeny, IA, office proudly provides general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients from Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.