Wellness

Kombucha Kombucha Kombucha

Is this trendy drink actually good for me?

Kombucha continues to make a huge splash in the health food industry with bottles now readily available in many grocery and convenience stores. But what is this fizzy drink, and is it really healthy?

As it turns out, kombucha is nothing new. This fermented tea drink was first made in China around 220 B.C. The drink made a comeback in recent years with kombucha sales increasing 21% to $729 million in 2018.1 These non-alcoholic, fermented beverages now represent 10% of refreshment beverage sales.2

Making kombucha usually starts with black or green tea and sugar. A combination of good bacteria and yeast turns the sweet tea into a fizzy drink after about a week of fermentation.

Whether you make your own kombucha or buy it at your local grocery store, this drink has several potential health benefits. It can provide your body with probiotics, a good bacteria in your gut that can aid with digestion and reduce inflammation. It’s rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your body against disease. And research shows the green tea often found in kombucha may reduce your risk of heart disease, protect against cancer and manage Type 2 diabetes.

Yet kombucha also contains lots of acid and sugar that can attack and erode your tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. Erosion exposes your dentin, or inner layer of your teeth. This can cause your teeth to become more susceptible to decay and more sensitive to certain hot, cold, sweet or spicy foods. It can also cause your teeth to look yellow over time.

Our verdict: Enjoy kombucha in moderation while being mindful of its potential risks to oral health. Consider drinking fluoridated water, milk or unsweetened green tea as alternatives that are lower in acid and sugar, and better for your smile.

Try these tips to keep your mouth healthy if you choose to drink kombucha:

Rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking this acidic beverage. Water helps dilute acid that is lingering in your mouth.

Drink kombucha with food, rather than between meals. Foods containing calcium, such as cheese and yogurt, can help neutralize the acids in your mouth.

Unleash your smile power! The nation's largest network of dentists. Learn more. Unleash your smile power! The nation's largest network of dentists. Learn more. Unleash your smile power! The nation's largest network of dentists. Learn more.