September 19th, 2018
Sparkling water, or carbonated water, is often recommended as a healthy alternative to soda. It offers bubbly goodness without the added sugar.
So “Hurray for LaCroix,” right?
Not so fast. Just because sparkling water doesn’t contain sugar doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth.
Let’s take a closer look.
Does Carbonated Water Damage Your Teeth?
Experts agree soda can cause damage to your teeth. Remember sticking an egg in a glass of cola in science class? The soda caused the eggshell to deteriorate. All that was left was a rubberized, shell-less egg.
Well, sparkling water can also cause damage to your teeth. Carbonated water gets its fizz from carbon dioxide. A chemical reaction in your mouth turns the CO2 in to carbonic acid. That’s what makes the water tangy and zesty with a refreshing bite. It also makes the water more acidic. And that’s where you get the dental erosion. Acid in your food and drink wears away your tooth enamel.
So if you’re sipping on the stuff all day, swishing it around your mouth, then yes, this healthful alternative will damage your teeth.
What Should I Avoid in Carbonated Water?
A lot of manufacturers add extra stuff to carbonated water. So, keep any eye out for these additives.
- Citrus Flavoring – The flavoring often has higher acid levels that increase the risk of damage to your enamel.
- Fresh Lemon or Lime – A lot of the time, a few squeezes of lemon are added to the water. Just like the flavorings, that’s more acid, and more risk of enamel damage.
- Added Sugar – Also, just because it’s water doesn’t mean there isn’t any added sugar. At this point, it can no longer be considered sparkling water. They’re sugar-sweetened beverages, which is going to increase your risk of cavities (like soda).
How to Enjoy Sparkling Water and Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Take it easy. Sparkling water is a healthier alternative to sodas and juices. Those have added sugar – which will get you cavities – and/or high acidic level – which will damage tooth enamel. So keep going with your sparkling water. Just enjoy it in moderation.
As mentioned above, sparkling water has a higher level of acid which is not a friend to enamel. We recommend drinking it with meals, because when you eat, you increase your saliva. Saliva works to take care of your teeth.
Your best bet, though, is regular, fluoridated water whenever possible. It’s the best beverage for your teeth. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away leftover cavity causing bacteria, and keeps your mouth from becoming dry.
Article by Bryana Allen, Delta Dental of Washington