Kombucha is a fizzy tea that is said to improve your immune system, give you heightened energy, and assist with regular digestion. While this drink may sound like a health wonder, the effects it has on your oral health can be just as detrimental as drinking soda.
What is Kombucha?
A popular drink found in many natural grocers and health stores, Kombucha is made by fermenting sweet tea by use of yeast and bacteria. Due to the fermenting process, the drink becomes alcoholic, and you do have to be at least 21 to buy it in the US, but most brands of the beverage are low in alcohol content. Modern versions of the tea have risen in popularity over the last few decades with natural health practitioners and are believed to have branched from an ancient Asian recipe. The process of creating kombucha creates a vinegary, acidic, effervescent brew.
Kombucha Compared With Other Teas
While just about any beverage other than water can impair the integrity of your oral health, most teas are seen as innocent if the proper precautions are taken. Healthcare providers list the risks of tooth decay from teas in the following order.
- White Tea – This is the least processed tea option, which comes from the same plant as green tea. White tea is rare because it can only be harvested a few days in the Spring, but is seen as the safest option.
- Green Tea – Green tea is much like white tea, but slightly more processed and of a darker color. Prolonged drinking of green tea has been seen to cause tooth discoloration.
- Black Tea – Most likely to stain teeth, and has been compared to coffee in some studies.
- Chai Tea & other Herbals – Due to the vast array of herbal teas on the market, this type is hard to categorize, but dentists agree that most of them are less harmful to your mouth than the more acidic kombucha.
- Kombucha – Kombucha is the most likely to cause issues like enamel loss, tooth decay, tooth loss, and even mouth sores due to the acidity, high sugar content, alcoholic proponents, and the bacteria.
How to Prevent Damage?
Can’t stop drinking this favorite tea? Here are some tips to prevent it from dimming your smile.
- After having an acidic beverage, rinse your mouth out and use a wet toothbrush.
- Use a straw whenever possible – this will keep most of the acid off of your teeth, but doesn’t eliminate the risk.
- Drink it fast – slowly sipping your tea will prolong your exposure to the acid and sugars.
- Drink it plain – Adding sugar or creams to your teas only increases the risk of tooth decay and damage. Drink your tea plain if you insist on continuing to drink it.
Please feel free to call us at Elite Boca Dental if you have any concerns about possible damage to your teeth from drinking teas and sodas. We would love to have the opportunity of discussing and helping you with any remedies that are available.