The ancient adage, prevention is better than cure rings very true. In fact, it pretty much applies in several cases including in the case of apple cider vinegar. Lots of people take apple cider vinegar for reaping its numerous health benefits. This includes taking apple cider vinegar for weight loss. But you must have often heard the instruction of sipping apple cider vinegar with a straw.
This might leave you somewhat baffled. Why would you need to take this healthful drink with a straw? We have all also gathered the side effects of cider vinegar but there is often little connection that we can put together to understand the role of a straw here. Here is a detailed look at why you need to take apple cider vinegar with a straw.
Apple Cider Vinegar With A Straw
The main idea is to understand two main points. Firstly, cider vinegar has a high content of acetic acid. Secondly, acetic acid is harmful to your body. In fact, it can hurt your tissues pretty bad including that of the esophagus.
Therefore, when you sip cider vinegar directly, you expose your teeth to the acid. The acid acts on the first layer of your teeth called enamel. This erodes your teeth. It is much like soft drinks acting on your teeth and damaging them.
Also, as you consume the vinegar, the remnants of the drink remain in your mouth. Resultantly, the acid gets more time to act on your teeth. One key tip, in this regard, is to gargle your mouth after you have taken apple cider vinegar. This takes away the long exposure time of the acid on your teeth, thus, you will be better able to save your teeth.
Acidity in Apple Cider Vinegar
Cider vinegar poses high acidity that is not good for your gums and teeth. pH is the standard scale that is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of anything. A pH of 7 is neutral. Above 7, a solution/liquid is alkaline and below 7, the liquid is acidic. Put simply, the lower on the pH scale a substance ranks, the more acidic it is. And the higher a liquid is measured on a pH scale, the more alkaline it is.
When it comes to apple cider vinegar, the pH level stands at 2.85 in the case of organic and unfiltered vinegar. In the perspective of the pH scale, this is highly acidic. In fact, the acidic pH of cider vinegar is even higher than soda and lemon juice. It is just under the pH value of the acid found naturally in your stomach, which aids in killing bacteria and parasites in the food consumed.
What Does the Acid Do To Your Teeth?
As a rule of thumb, when anything acidic, be it cider vinegar, grapefruit juice or soda, comes in contact with your teeth, it wears down its protective layer. The protective layer of your teeth is called the enamel. Once this enamel is damaged, you are more prone to get cavities.
So when you drink apple cider vinegar or use it as a mouthwash, you are putting your teeth in harm’s way. In a lab study, the wisdom teeth’s enamel was immersed in different vinegar of varying levels. The pH scale ranged from 2.7 to 3.9.
The vinegars caused between 1-20% of the loss of minerals from teeth. And this was only in a matter of 4 hours. There is a difference in the case of the mouth though, as it contains saliva that reduces acidity. However, this lab test provides evidence that vinegar can damage the enamel and cause dental erosion greatly.
Therefore, it is clear that due to its acidic nature, cider vinegar causes damage to the tooth enamel and contributes to dental erosion. This eventually leads to sensitivity to cavities, which is something no one wants.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar As A Mouthwash
There are lots of people who use cider vinegar as a mouthwash. This is, however, wrong. Because the acid attacks the enamel of your teeth. In fact, using ACV as a mouthwash increases the damage.
Research has proven that if you have had something acidic, it is advisable to wait for minimum 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. This is an essential step as your enamel is in a weakened stage after exposure to the acid. If you brush immediately, it will remove more of the enamel, which is a big no-no.
The Role of the Straw
Now that you know about the science behind the acidity in ACV, you are probably wondering about the role that a straw plays here. You should be drinking apple cider vinegar with a straw because with it, your teeth are not directly exposed to the acidic cider vinegar.
In this way, you can reduce the amount of damage done to your teeth. At the same time, you will be able to enjoy the multiple benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Other Tips To Protect From The Side Effects of Cider Vinegar
In addition to using a straw for consuming ACV, there are other ways to protect yourself too. Foremost of all is to dilute your cider vinegar drink with water. This lessens the acidity of the drink. These steps can be summed up as:
- Use a straw
- Dilute ACV with water
- Don’t swish the vinegar around in your mouth
- Don’t brush immediately after taking ACV
- Rinse your mouth after drinking cider vinegar
- Do not accompany the consumption of ACV with other acidic things like tomatoes, orange juice or grapefruit