Spinach is one of nature’s superfoods. It’s also rich in oxalic acid. This is the compound that causes that grainy and chalky feeling on your teeth. Other similar compounds, such as the tannic acid found in some wines, cause a similar sensation. Is oxalic acid bad for the teeth, though? If so, does it mean you should limit intake of a vegetable that is otherwise good for you? Find out what our family dentists have to say on this subject.
What Oxalic Acid Does to the Teeth
Oxalic acid is, as suggested in its name, an acid. As such, too much contact with the teeth can erode enamel. Some people believe Oxalic acid causes calcium chelation, meaning that it leaches calcium from the teeth.
Consuming spinach in excess, therefore, can potentially have negative ramifications for your dental health. But—and it’s a big “but”—there’s a caveat.
While spinach contains a high concentration of oxalic acid, the compound is rated around a 6 on the pH scale. This means it’s more neutral than it is acidic. Furthermore, the oxalic content is reduced when the spinach is cooked. On top of that, spinach also contains minerals like calcium and iron, both of which are beneficial for dental health.
What about the calcium chelation that was mentioned earlier? The oxalic acid found in spinach is already bound to minerals like the aforementioned calcium and iron. Being already bound means that it does not have the ability to bind and remove calcium from your teeth.
Our verdict on oxalic acid?
It’s mostly safe. It’s also safe for dental implants, dentures, and braces. We reckon you won’t grow massive forearms like Popeye, but spinach is safe and most of all, healthy. Our dentists at Silver Firs Dental recommend it as part of a healthy diet. Do contact us for additional healthy dental tips or making an appointment. The effects of oxalic acid on your teeth is a nonissue, so no worries.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Dental Checkups and Home Tips for a Healthy Smile
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