About Acid Erosion

The Causes of Acid Erosion

Having an acid-rich diet can put our teeth at risk of acid erosion and this can happen more easily than you might expect. As few as four acidic food or drink intake "occasions" throughout the day can put our enamel at risk from acid erosion.

What counts toward those daily acidic "occasions"? Surprisingly, it includes some of our healthier choices, like fruit, fruit juices, sparkling water with lemon.

Asian woman eating

How acidic are your favourite foods and drinks?

Knowing how acidic foods and drinks are can also help you protect your teeth from the effects of acid erosion. Is white wine more acidic than orange juice? Are apples more acidic than soda? Find out which of your favourite foods are more acidic than others in the chart to the right.

Glass of orange juice

High Acidity

Lemon Juice
Sports Drinks
Tonic Water
Red Cherries
Carbonated Soft Drinks, including diet soda
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
Grapefruit Juice
Apple Sauce
Apple Juice and Apple Cider
Orange Juice

Cup of tea in glass

Medium Acidity

Tomato Sauce
Seedless Raisins
Green Olives
Carrot Juice
Tea (black)
Beetroot Juice

Glass of water

Low Acidity

Rye, wheat and white bread
Black Olives
Peanut Butter
Still Mineral Water

What is pH and how is it measured?

For chemists and scientists, pH is a scale between 1-14 on how acidic (pH < 7) or alkaline (pH > 7) something is. For people concerned about an acidic diet and acid erosion, the most important thing to know is this: the lower the pH number, the more acidic a food or drink is, and the more frequently it is consumed, the more harmful it may be to your tooth enamel.

For example, distilled water has a neutral pH of 7, while tomato juice might have a pH of 4 and lemon juice might have a pH of 2 - making the lemon juice the most acidic of the three.

Knowing the pH value of the foods we eat and the beverages we drink helps us have a clearer picture of how acidic our diet really is. And knowing the acidity of our diet is an important step in making sure we protect our tooth enamel from acid erosion. The rule of thumb is the lower the pH, the higher the acidity and therefore the higher the risk it may cause acid erosion.