Several years ago, we wrote a somewhat inflammatory article on why we don’t drink kombucha as a habit.
Fundamentally, the post addressed the potential amount of fluoride in tea and, therefore, kombucha. You can read the article at the link above in case you missed it. In publishing the article, we learned an incredible amount about how we want to blog—and specifically how we want to eliminate any bias or slant in our articles.
Today we want to explain what we’ve learned about kombucha and oral wellness so that you can better understand why we don’t drink kombucha as a habit. We’ll also divulge how to drink kombucha and NOT destroy your teeth!
What We Learned
What we regret about our previous article is that we attacked kombucha on a whole. One blog commenter even said, “We slaughtered a sacred cow by attacking kombucha.”
We like to write about solutions—not problems.
There is more than enough media attention on the problems of the world. We choose to be among the sources of information that say: “Yea, the problems exist… And let’s turn our creative attention toward the possible solutions!”
We contradicted this desire to be solution-oriented when writing the previous kombucha article. For this, we apologize to you. We are deeply sorry that we didn’t give any tangible solutions on how to drink kombucha and not destroy your oral health.
But we have come away from the experience with a very firm commitment to keeping our focus on solutions—what we call the ‘forward side of the energy circle’.
It is in this spirit that we follow-up on the subject of kombucha.
A quick disclosure for those of you who wanted to stone us for slaughtering kombucha in our last article: We do believe that kombucha can play a helpful role in a healthy diet and provides us with lots of healthy microbes for our gut micro biome. The game, as you’ll see from this article, is getting the booch to our bellies without compromising our enamel.
Now we are going to bring up ‘an issue’ with kombucha once again. But we do so in order to help you navigate to greater oral health. And, most importantly, this time, we promise to provide a reliable solution to the issue! 🙂
The Problem With Kombucha
I was recently talking with a dentist friend of ours.
He shared with me how he can look into a person’s mouth and tell me whether or not they drink kombucha. I was surprised by such a bold statement, so I asked how he could possibly tell. He replied, “Kombucha destroys the tooth enamel just as quickly as soda.”
The generally agreed upon theory in dentistry on why teeth decay is called the acid dissolution theory. The argument goes something like this:
Thug bugs on the teeth consume sugars (carbs) in the mouth. Their waste is acidic. The acidity of their waste in such close contact with our teeth dissolves the tooth structure, which is mainly made up of calcium and phosphorus in a crystalline structure called hydroxyapatite.. This dissolution of the tooth by acids causes cavities to form.
As a quick sidenote, for a better understanding of the crystal structure of our teeth and what we can to to support remineralization, check out this article, “Putting together the pieces to reverse tooth decay and remineralize cavities”.
While we know there is much more to the overall story of why and how cavities form, let’s dive into this theory to see how acidic drinks negatively impact our oral health.
It’s all about acidity
The primary issue with kombucha is its pH (relative acidity). According to the website kombuchakamp, a ‘good’ kombucha should have a pH of between 2.5-3.2. Incidentally, the low pH of kombucha is necessary to maintain healthy microbial activity in this live food.
Although we may get some hate mail for comparing kombucha and conventional sodas like Coke and Pepsi, we do want you to see the similar pH of all these drinks.
We created the chart at the beginning of this article to show you just how acidic kombucha really is.
Mike Adams of Natural News published a video that shows how soda dissolves tooth enamel. The video actually shows microscopic imagery of the process. He states that it’s the phosphoric acid that causes the damage. While the video is a bit dramatic, it does show how acids dissolve enamel.
And it makes sense if you think about it.
Teeth are made up of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, among others. These minerals are freed from the matrix of the tooth when exposed to acids, regardless of our judgment on whether we think the drink is good for us or not.
So, that’s the bad news. Now, here’s the solution!
How to drink kombucha for the health benefits without destroying your teeth…
The issue with drinking anything acidic is drinking too much of it, too often.
Sipping kombucha throughout the day will cause way more damage than drinking a glass of it with one meal.
So, what does that mean?
1. If you are going to drink kombucha (or orange juice, soda, or any other acidic drink), drink it in one sitting rather than sipping on it throughout the day.
2. To help minimize the damage to your teeth, take a mouthful of pure water (room temp is best) after finishing the kombucha. Swish it around the mouth for several seconds to neutralize the acidic environment in the mouth and on the teeth. In this case, you are still gaining the benefit of the probiotics in kombucha while quickly neutralizing the acidic environment.
If you want to take additional precaution, you could put a little baking soda into the swish water to further neutralize the acidic environment.
To increase the remineralization effort, you could put a drop of our HealThy Mouth Blend and/or our Shine Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Powder into some swish water. Our blend significantly increases saliva production, which is fundamental for remineralizing the teeth. Shine contains ingredients that are specifically geared toward supporting tooth remineralization. You can click here to learn more about OraWellness Shine and how it works.
An important note: While some of us may be tempted to brush after drinking kombucha to help the neutralization process, brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic can increase the loss of enamel!
Think about it. If the outer layer of enamel is weakened by exposure to acid, scrubbing that weakened surface will only liberate more minerals from the tooth surface.
So, swish immediately but wait at least 30 minutes to brush after drinking something acidic (like kombucha) to allow the saliva to remineralize and stabilize the enamel first.
Takeaway strategy: While kombucha can provide benefits to your gut health, be sure to drink it in one sitting and swish the mouth with water after finishing your beverage.
You’ll enjoy the advantages of kombucha without sacrificing your oral health in the process!
Also, if you’re ready to take your oral health to the next level and gain a complete understanding of how to stop tooth decay and reverse cavities, feel free to download our FREE eBook, “How to Remineralize Your Teeth”.
Now it’s your turn!
Does knowing this information help you feel more empowered to navigate to greater oral health? Do you enjoy drinking kombucha? How do you do it and not risk compromising your precious smile? Please share your opinions and feedback in the comments below!
Helpful, Related Resources
How to Remineralize Your Teeth [free eBook]
How to Stop Tooth Decay and Remineralize Your Teeth [article]
How to Reverse Tooth Decay with Diet [article]
What Foods Undermine Our Oral Health And Why [article]
What To Eat To Support Greater Oral Health [article]
Why Do Teeth Decay (And How Do We Stop It) [article]
Why We Don’t Drink Kombucha [article]
4 Reasons Why Brushing Is So Important [article]
pH table of various sodas found here
PH of kombucha found here