Kombucha and Teeth: How to Maintain Good Oral Health

kombucha setupKombucha is a popular beverage touted for its health benefits, like natural probiotics. Though it comes in a spectrum of varieties, it is essentially a fermented tea – that is concocted with sugar and sometimes different flavors (e.g. fruits, herbs, etc.) – and is full of beneficial bacteria. It becomes naturally carbonated throughout the fermentation process. For this reason, it is also important to keep in mind the effect of kombucha on teeth and that it may cause enamel to break down.

This post was motivated by a story from a friend, who had recently seen a new dentist. After examining our friend’s teeth, the dentist asked: “Do you drink kombucha?” Wow!  She could plainly see the pitted enamel …

While drinking kombucha is wonderful for gut health and overall health, it’s critical to be mindful of your kombucha-drinking practice. Due to its acidic nature (which is necessary for the bacteria in the drink to thrive), it is thus similar in behavior to soda – if left on teeth for too long it can begin to break down enamel. While it is on the opposite end of the spectrum from soda in terms of health status, it could still be potentially harmful to your teeth.

With this in mind we recommend you keep the following in mind when drinking kombucha:

  1. Drink kombucha at one time. Sipping/drinking it throughout the day could increase likelihood of damage to teeth enamel
  2. When you finish your drink, rinse your mouth out with filtered water to remove the sugars and acidic components from your mouth.
  3. After drinking kombucha, wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will allow the enamel to harden and protect it from decay.
  4. If you would prefer to brush your teeth post kombucha-drinking, then you should also wait 30 minutes for the same reasoning above. If you were to scrub your teeth while they are temporarily weakened (until enamel re-hardens), you could cause the same amount of damage!

 

7 Comments on “Kombucha and Teeth: How to Maintain Good Oral Health

  1. I have been drinking 1 liter of my own kombucha daily for the past few months. My dentist last week advised against drinking it. For me he said it is too acidic for my mouth. It is causing cavities for me. I never realized my body could have this reaction.

  2. I’m a dentist, and lately have seen two people with decay and sensitive teeth, due to their sipping Kombucha during the day. Drinking it with a meal should be okay, especially at the start of a meal. Waiting 30 minutes just complicates things.

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