Do you enjoy the indulgent fizz of sparkling water, but worry about the effects of carbonation on your teeth? Are you drawn to the calorie-free effervescence of a can of La Croix or Pellegrino, but don’t want to put yourself at risk of cavities? Dr. Amy Farmer, a dentist serving Longmont and the surrounding Colorado areas, reveals what you should know about sipping sparkling water in this post.
How Sparkling Water Affects the Teeth
One of the primary concerns about sparkling water is that it contains carbonic acid, which gives the water its bubbles and can theoretically wear away tooth enamel. However, fans of sparkling water can rest easy. When tested, studies show that sparkling water does not harm tooth enamel any more than plain (still) water.
A can of sparkling water’s actual carbonic acid content is quite weak. Its pH value is more neutral than a soft drink, like Coke or Sprite, although not totally neutral like bottled flat water. (For context, Perrier’s pH value is about a 5.5 and bottled flat water has a pH of about a 7.)
If you are generally in good health and have a fairly healthy diet, taking pleasure in the satisfying fizz of carbonated water is probably not going to erode your tooth enamel or lead to cavities. However, it’s important to make smart choices. Firstly, look for brands without added sugar. Certain brands like to add sugar for flavoring, but the sugar content is high enough to put them on par with soda.
Also, limit your consumption of citrus-flavored sparkling waters, which may have higher acid levels than non-flavored waters, and can threaten tooth enamel. If you do enjoy the occasional citrus-flavored sparkling water, try to limit your teeth’s exposure to the beverage. Drink it in its entirety with a meal instead of taking occasional sips throughout the day.
And, make sure you’re still drinking a lot of non-carbonated, fluoridated water, too. (Many public water sources put fluoride in tap water.) The fluoride in tap water helps wash away food particles and prevent cavities. It also helps prevent dry mouth.
Contact Dr. Amy Farmer
Are you trying to make healthy dietary choices to promote optimal oral health? Dr. Farmer can help. Your next dental exam and check-up is a great opportunity to discuss diet and oral health at length. Contact us today to request an appointment.