The buzz around apple cider vinegar (ACV for short) champions it as a natural defense against indigestion and reflux and rising cholesterol and sugar levels — but what’s less talked about is how ACV can potentially harm your teeth.
Even when diluted with water, I can barely get apple cider vinegar down. Too often it’s left sitting in my mouth, which is why I began to wonder how ACV’s strong acidity affects my pearly whites. So, I touched base with Summer Holloway, DMD, the owner of Floss Dental Boutique, for answers.
“Regular apple cider vinegar consumption can negatively affect your oral health twofold: Apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment, creating a perfect opportunity for decay. Secondly, many people have increased tooth sensitivity due to the loss of the protective layer of your teeth (your enamel),” Holloway says.
I knew my gut instincts were onto something, so I decided to switch to ACV gummies instead of liquid vinegar — but that’s not always a foolproof solution, either.
According to Holloway, the gummies could be a better option compared to liquid ACV from an acidic standpoint since you’re not splashing your teeth with a low pH fluid — but you could be exposing your teeth to other things, like sugar.
“Typically, sugar and acid are the ingredients that give gummies, mints, and chewing gum flavor. Don’t get fooled that sugar-free is better for your teeth. Most often, that means there is an increased acidic component giving the flavor,” she explains.
Suppose you’re still committed to drinking ACV regularly. In that case, Holloway recommends you at least protect your teeth by reneutralizing your oral pH postvinegar by rinsing your mouth with baking-soda water for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Just make sure to get approval from your dentist before adding this to your routine.
And the minute you notice increased cold or sugar teeth sensitivity, Holloway urges that you make an appointment with your dentist to ensure your enamel is in good shape.