Sparkling water has rapidly become the go-to choice of beverage for many people over the past few years. Sales have shown annual growth rates as high as 15.8%1, and at-home carbonation appliances are also becoming increasingly popular. However, the supposedly healthy alternative can be a significant cause of enamel erosion.
Sparkling Water Might Not Be as Healthy as It Promises to Be
Sparkling water is often touted as a healthy alternative to soda and other fizzy beverages, and in some ways it is, providing a low-calorie or even zero-calorie option. Be that as it may, high-calorie levels are far from the only adverse health consequence associated with traditional sodas. There’s also their impact on your teeth, and sparkling water might not be much better for you in that regard.
Soda is a “perfect storm” when it comes to being bad for your teeth: It’s loaded with sugar, which provides a steady source of food for the bacteria that cause tooth erosion, decay, and gum disease, and it is also highly acidic, often containing ingredients such as citric and ascorbic acid. Carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages also increases acidity, as the bubbles can transform into carbonic acid and reach a natural equilibrium.
That means even pure water with no other additives becomes acidic when carbonated. Some types of flavored sparkling water also contain low sugar levels, while others use artificial sweeteners. With all of that being said, while not as bad as soda, sparkling water is still much worse than regular water.
You Could Find Yourself Facing Enamel Erosion
Your teeth enamel contains minerals such as calcium that provide the strength and durability of its structure. The acidity of sparkling water causes acid erosion, wearing away those minerals, weakening your teeth, and allowing them to erode. The same process is responsible for tooth decay, as the bacteria in your mouth secrete similar acids.
Drinking sparkling water in place of regular water creates additional issues. Juice, soda, and other potentially harmful beverages aren’t so bad if you drink them occasionally and don’t sip them for long periods of time. But drinking sparkling water throughout the day means that your teeth are being hit with acids and eroding continuously, not just a bit from time to time.
As your teeth erode, you’ll face decay and cavities. You may eventually need a dental filling or a root canal treatment if the issue is left unnoticed. In the worst-case scenario, you could find yourself needing a tooth extraction.
Steps You Can Take to Safeguard Your Smile
The best step that you can take to protect yourself from enamel erosion is to avoid acidic and sugary beverages. But enjoying sparkling water in moderation can be perfectly reasonable if you follow the necessary steps to safeguard your smile.
Ideally, it would be best if you drank through a straw. Doing so can help the water bypass your teeth and prevent erosion to some degree, but of course, that doesn’t protect your teeth entirely.
If you are going to drink sparkling water, don’t do so with the intent to use it as a means of hydration throughout the day. Drink the glass or bottle in one go, and ideally, follow it up with some pure water to remove any residual acidity. While it may seem tempting to keep a bottle with you to drink from whenever you’d like, it can seriously damage your teeth.
Taking Full Advantage of Preventative Dentistry
Taking care of your teeth requires a careful balance of diet, oral hygiene, and preventive care. At Empire Dental Care, Dr. Tehila Cohen provides the care you need to protect your smile, including routine exams and cleanings, fluoride treatment, and dental sealants. Schedule an appointment today to ensure your long-term oral health. 585-671-1650