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Is Sparkling Water Bad For My Teeth?

Monday, March 19th, 2018

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A carbonated drink, such as sparkling water, contains that satisfying fizz and crisp popping feeling that many of us love. But are those carbonated bubbles putting you at risk for tooth decay or dental issues? We’ve been asked that question, so let’s take a look at the answer!

Dental Erosion

As you likely know, erosion can be caused by many things both inside and outside the body. Factors such as vomiting and reflux, as well as acidic or harmful foods and beverages top the list. Carbonation gives beverages a lower pH, or in other words, a higher level of acidity (1).

So it begs the question – does that then mean that sparkling water can weaken your enamel, like other acidic foods and beverages?

What We Know About Sparkling Water & Your Teeth

The short answer: It turns out sparkling water is fine for your teeth!

That’s also backed by the American Dental Association, for those who are interested.

Studies have looked into how sparkling water compares to regular water, including how it can impact your teeth. The two forms of water—regular and sparkling—used in the commonly cited study showed no difference in their effect on the tooth enamel. This suggests that even with the increased acidity of sparkling water compared to flat water, there is no difference to your teeth.

So Where Can You Run Into Trouble?

The real danger to your teeth is in drinks that are sugary AND acidic, such as carbonated, sugary sodas or fruit drinks. The sugars found in these drinks increase likelihood of cavities, bacteria, and decay, on top of the risk of the higher acidity.

Another reason sugary, carbonated drinks are so much more potentially dangerous than flat or sparkling water is the high frequency in which they are consumed. The increased exposure to these elements erodes and damages the enamel over time (1, 2).

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Adding lemon or lime juice to your sparkling water, or drinking sparkling water that contains citrus flavors will have higher levels of acidity than plan water or unflavored sparkling water. This could increase the risk for damage to your tooth enamel, over time, more than unflavored sparkling water (2).

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Drink Safely

Plain drinks, such as water, or drinks containing high concentration of calcium, such as milk, can help reduce the risk of erosion. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away food debris, and keeps to maintain a moist, healthy environment inside the mouth (2).

Another tip is to drink the beverage all in one sitting or with a meal, rather than sipping on the drink all day long, which increases the acidic exposure time to your teeth. All-day sipping should be left to regular water! (We don’t even have to mention how that’s also probably best for your waistline!)

Mineral water contains additional mineral content of nutrients like calcium phosphate. These added minerals can help neutralize the potential damage of drinking the slightly more acidic sparkling beverage (3).

Last, if you do opt to drink beverages containing sugar, be sure to avoid and limit how many and how often you indulge in this practice. Limiting the frequency of which you drink flavored sparkling or carbonated soda and fruit drinks will help minimize the potential for erosion and damage (1).

Your Aim: Avoiding Too Much Acidity in Your Mouth

Your best dental health option is to avoid too much acid in the mouth. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to safe beverages for your oral health. But if you are choosing between a soft drink and sparkling water, the sparkling water is a much safer choice, and much more similar to plain water, than something with the sugar content of a soda or juice (3). Be sure to ask us if you have ANY questions.

Watch For Warning Signs

No matter what your dietary and beverage choices, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for warning signs that enamel erosion is occurring. Symptoms like tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, changes in color, or notches on the tooth can indicate weakening of this hard outer layer. Although tooth erosion is a gradual process, it’s problematic for the long-term health of your teeth, so be sure to tell us at the first sign of trouble.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice 

Do you have concerns about how your nutrition impacts your oral health? If you see any warning signs of cavities or enamel erosion, schedule an appointment right away. We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion
  2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?source=promospots&content=rotator&medium=sparkling_water
  3. https://www.today.com/health/sparkling-water-bad-your-teeth-dentists-weigh-t70761