Below is a list of common drinks consumed in the United States along with their pH values. A lower pH signifies a more acidic drink. A pH of 7 is deemed to be neutral. When the pH of a drink or food drops below 4.0 it causes a chemical change in the tooth, which can lead to loss of enamel and an increase in tooth decay. Certain acids such as citric acid, phosphoric acid and malic acid are added to a large number of beverages which decreases their pH. Acids are added to beverages for several reasons including enhancing their flavor and freshness.
If you do choose to drink an acidic beverage, do so in one sitting. Do not sip on it over a long period of time, because this will increase the amount of time that your tooth is exposed to the acid in the drink. At the completion of consuming the beverage, wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth. This will allow the acidity of the mouth to rise back to a safe level so that you have strong enamel to brush. If you brush right after consuming an acidic beverage, your mouth is still very acidic which leads to weakened tooth structure. When you brush and your tooth structure is weakened, you will brush away tooth structure leading to what is called erosion. If you do have to brush right after consuming an acidic beverage, rinse your mouth with either milk or water to help neutralize the pH in your mouth.
Although not all beverages on the market are listed below, we have tried to include well known beverages from different categories. If the beverage you are consuming is not listed below, find one that is similar and it will give you a good estimate of the pH.
Reddy, Norris, Momeni, Waldo, Ruby; The pH of Beverages in the United States; The Journal of the American Dental Association; April 2016; p. 255-262