Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Dare I touch on the latest huge trend in health drinks - Kombucha.
This product has stormed the soft drink displays in supermarkets and service stations, and that is a good thing right? After all, it is fermented tea flavoured with natural ingredients. It must be better than all of those tooth wrecking soft drinks. . .
The real story of this produce calls for further investigation, because not everything that is promoted as being good for us actually is.
Is kombucha better than soft drink?
The answer to that depends on who you talk to, but here are some general points to consider.
Fans claim that the sugar used to produce this drink is either completely consumed in the fermentation process, or altered in such a way that it affects the body differently to 'normal' sugar'. Is this true? And are those sugars harming to teeth? I would assume yes until proven otherwise.
Many commercial brands add sugar to make the taste more palatable.
Kombucha has a pH of around 2.5 - 3.5 9 (depending on the source). That is very acidic.
Teeth are eroded by acid.
The more you drink acidic beverages, the higher the risk to your tooth enamel.
Kombucha contains yeast.
There are contradictory arguments about the health value of yeasts - some people love them and claim many health benefits, and at the same time other people are fighting to eliminate them through restrictive diets and supplementation.
Yeast infections in the mouth are stubborn to cure and require strong anti-fungal medications to remove.
Tips if you love kombucha and want to love your teeth too:
Treat kombucha as a soft drink. It might be better than most soft drinks, but it is still not good for your teeth.
Avoid highly sweetened versions and always read the ingredients panel for sugar content.
Kombucha is always acidic so use a straw and be careful to keep it off your teeth.
Drink plain water afterwards.
DO NOT brush your teeth straight away. Wait at least 20 minutes before brushing to let the tooth surfaces recover.
Avoid drinking it everyday. Give your teeth a break.
It is truly marvellous that more people are turning away from soft drinks and looking for more natural and healthy alternatives to satisfy their thirst. . .
. . . however, we cannot assume that something is good for the health of our entire body just because it has been promoted as a health food.
Always look out for your own wellbeing, first and foremost. Check ingredients lists and do some research beyond the advertising hype.