Everybody knows that drinking water is good for your health. But staying hydrated can be difficult and often tedious.
You are told to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but after the first few glasses, you might find the taste gets a little stale. After eight glasses you may never want to touch water again!
To add some spice to their water consumption, many health-conscious Australians have moved to sparkling water as their drink of choice.
This seems like an excellent choice – unflavoured sparkling water is nothing more than healthy, natural water and a bit of fizzy carbonation.
Recently, however, there have been articles suggesting that sparkling water may represent a threat to your teeth.
At True Dental Care Preston our number one job is to protect your teeth and oral health, so we’d like to take this moment to share our latest understanding of sparkling water and how safe it is for you!
A Look At The Science
Carbonated water is created (or exists naturally) when carbon dioxide (CO2) is infused into water. This creates carbonic acid, which is more acidic than regular water.
Some concern exists regarding tooth enamel erosion due to the increased acidity. A 2001 study in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation showed that while sparkling mineral waters have slightly greater erosive potential than plain water, the potential for damage was low and was of the order of one hundred times less than soft drinks.
There are a couple more studies to consider:
- In one study, carbonated beverages showed strong potential to destroy enamel, but only if they contained sugar. In fact, a non-carbonated sweet beverage (Gatorade) was more harmful than a sugar-free carbonated drink (Diet Coke) (1).
- In another study, samples of tooth enamel were placed in various beverages for up to 24 hours. The sugar-sweetened carbonated and non-carbonated beverages resulted in significantly greater enamel loss than diet drinks (2).
- Another review of several studies found that the combination of sugar and carbonation may lead to severe dental decay (3).
- However, plain sparkling water appears to pose little risk to dental health. It’s only the sugary types that are harmful (4).
So, Is Sparkling Water Good For Your Teeth?
The most important thing is that the acidity of sparkling water is far less than that of citrus juice and most sodas and sports drinks. Sparkling water is safer for teeth. Further, non-flavoured sparkling waters contain no sugar, and eliminating sugar is always good for your teeth.
Sparkling water brands that contain sugar should not be treated as sparkling water; instead, they should be considered a sugar-sweetened beverage, just like sodas and juices.
Unflavoured sparkling waters also have no added citrus-flavour. Citrus-flavoured waters often have higher acid levels that do increase the risk of damage to your enamel. The fact is—sparkling or not—plain water is always the best choice.
Finally, even though sparkling water may slightly increase the acid level in your mouth, your saliva helps fight it. If you have normal saliva flow, you lower your risk from carbonated water. Saliva neutralises and buffers some of the effects of acid.
Still, if you are going to drink sparkling water, you might as well be as safe as you can. So we have some suggestions!
Keeping The Sparkle Safe!
There are a few things you can do to prevent even the risk of damage to your teeth.
- Drink unflavoured sparkling water. Stay away from all drinks containing sugar. Be aware that added citrus fruits have a high acidity level, which can increase the likelihood of enamel erosion.
- Drink with a straw. Using a straw helps protect teeth by minimising contact between dangerous elements in a drink and your tooth enamel.
- Take your drink with a meal. Don’t sip on sparkling water throughout the day, instead enjoy it during mealtimes when its effects are reduced.
- Wash it down with water. Drinking regular water after drinking sparkling water helps to rinse teeth and prevents erosion.
- Brush only after 30-40 minutes. Brushing directly after drinking a carbonated beverage can make things worse – wait at least half an hour.
True Dental Care Preston for your Dental Health
The foundation of True Dental Care Preston is a passion for healthy beautiful smiles. Our team is composed of Australian trained dentists, nurses, and a prosthetist.
We offer a wide range of dental services from preventative to dental emergency care, all in our advanced facility with a highly-trained staff and cutting-edge technology.
Call (03) 9131 5952 or visit us at 358 Bell St in Preston.