Health gurus have been recommending a daily shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV), advising you kick back the acidic swill before breakfast to stabilize your stomach and prepare your gut for the oncoming meal. However, repeating this ritual daily could have irreversible effects on your tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar is intensely acidic — which is why it’s such a powerful tool for balancing the pH of your gut. It has a pH that can range anywhere from 2.5 to 3, alarmingly low on the acidity scale.
The low pH of this vinegar is approximately equal in acidity to soda, which has been known to corrode tooth enamel over time. Undiluted apple cider vinegar produces the same scathing effect. And when you take a shot of the health “elixir,” you’re drinking it straight, directly exposing your teeth to the harsh compounds.
Your tooth enamel weakens, which primes your mouth for cavities and other damages. If you’re eating your breakfast— which, if you’re anything like most Americans, is likely loaded with sugar — right afterwards, the risk for decay increases even more. Unless you’re brushing your teeth immediately, the sugars and food particles remain in your mouth, mingling with harmful bacteria and rotting away at your teeth and gums.
If you dilute your apple cider vinegar before drinking it, the pH lowers and these risks dissolve as quickly as the ACV does. There’s a reason the stuff is good for you — used correctly, it’s one of the pantry staples that’s actually great for your health.