09 Sep Is Sparkling Water Bad for Your Teeth?
There are few better things than a cold refreshing drink on a hot summer day — but not all drinks are created equal. What you drink can have as big an impact on your teeth as what you eat. Chances are you already knew that sodas can damage your oral health, but is sparkling water bad for your teeth?
Sparkling water is water that’s been carbonated to create a bubbly and refreshing drink. It can be much less harmful to your teeth than soda and fruit juice, but added sugars can undo its benefits. Check the label first to avoid sugars as well as brush, floss, and see us for your regular dental appointments to maintain your oral health.
What is carbonated water?
Sparkling water, also known as carbonated water, is water that has been combined with carbon dioxide while under pressure. The result is a drink that’s bubbly and refreshing.
This fizzy water is a mainstay in cocktails and other carbonated beverages, including:
- Club soda
- Soft drinks
- Soda water
- Seltzer water
Carbonated water can have other ingredients that set it apart from plain sparkling water. This includes extra minerals and sulfur in products like Perrier and San Pellegrino, as well as quinine and sugar sweeteners in tonic water. Carbonated water is also used in the flavored water that’s become so popular over the past few years, including citrus-flavored water.
Is sparkling water bad for your teeth?
When combined, water and carbon dioxide experience a chemical reaction resulting in carbonic acid. This is a weak acid that has a similar effect on your mouth as mustard, which many people enjoy. But it also has a slightly higher pH level (3 – 4), making it more acidic than tap water but less than other highly acidic drinks like orange juice.
Acidic drinks containing citric acid are much worse for your tooth enamel than sparkling water. According to one study, sugary drinks are 100 times more acidic than mineral water. However, sparkling water can still contribute to tooth decay if it contains sugar. That means that you should still be checking labels when drinking sparkling water to avoid added sugars.
On the bright side, sparkling water is often the better choice over other options such as:
- Sports drinks
- Diet sodas
- Fruit juices
The key is to avoid added sugars, and it may help to drink some plain tap water afterward to wash away any acid left on your teeth. This will help you protect your teeth from enamel erosion as well as other side effects of poor oral health.
Want to learn more about nutrition and how it affects your teeth? Read Nutrition and Your Oral Health to find out more!
Protecting Your Dental Health
Sparkling water is far from the biggest threat to your oral health despite its potential to cause some tooth erosion. When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, there are few things you can do better than practicing good dental care.
To practice good oral care, make sure to:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day
- Floss at least once per day after eating
- Come to our office for regular dental appointments
These three things will go a long way in preventing cavities as well as other aspects of your health.
Do you want to learn more about cavities, their causes, and how to treat them? Read Everything You Need to Know About Cavities to find out!
Poor dental hygiene can cause much more than cavities. In fact, it can even affect your overall health! That’s because the bacteria in your mouth can lead to much more damage than just cavities.
Bacteria in your mouth can also lead to:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy and birth complications
- Infection of your heart chambers and valves (endocarditis)
Sparkling water is the result of flat water that’s been combined with carbon dioxide to create bubbles. It’s much less acidic than other choices, but it can be just as damaging if it contains added sugar. Make sure to check the label first and maintain good oral hygiene year-round to protect your oral and overall health. Avoid added sugars to protect your enamel from erosion, but you can still enjoy sparkling water as a healthier alternative to sugary, carbonated drinks.