If you are one of the many people who have jumped on the kombucha trend in recent years, you may want to think twice about how you drink the trendy fermented tea drink. That’s because, according to recent studies, kombucha – for all its purported health benefits – may be bad for your teeth.
Before we get into the why, let’s take a step back and look at what – what is kombucha, exactly?
Kombucha is a fermented black tea drink that is made by fermenting sugared tea with yeast and bacteria. This creates something called acetic acid and osmophilic yeast, which are probiotics. If you haven’t already heard of probiotics, they’re tiny microorganisms that boast some pretty big health benefits. So when you drink something like kombucha that is chock-full of probiotics, you’d think you’d be gaining some of those benefits, right?
Well, not so fast. For all the supposed medical claims made about kombucha (it has been said that it treats everything from AIDS to diabetes and cancer), there is no proof it helps with any of these conditions. Not only that, but thanks to its acid level, it’s dangerous for your teeth – and some say worse than soda!
But before you pour your cup down the drain, there are some things you should consider.
First, if you like kombucha and feel like the probiotics are helping you, continuing to drink it probably won’t hurt you – provided you protect your teeth. If you are going to continue with kombucha, keep in mind that the acid in the beverage is harmful, and act accordingly. When you do drink it, make sure you drink water either while you are drinking your kombucha or immediately after drinking it. Also, experts recommend you drink your kombucha quickly, as this will minimize the amount of time it is in your mouth and subsequently on your teeth.
As with any acidic food or beverage, make sure you do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking kombucha. The acids in the drink can soften the tooth enamel and leave it vulnerable to permanent scratching from your toothbrush. Rinse with water, and then wait at least 30 minutes before brushing so your tooth enamel has time to re-harden.
If you have any questions or concerns about drinking kombucha or other probiotic beverages, speak to your doctor or call Dr. Lesko at 970-812-0355.