Dentists: Healthy Coke claims are misleading

Dentists say the carbonated water is really the issue. It damages your tooth enamel.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Healthy Coke. If you haven’t heard of this yet, videos are all over social media showing people mixing balsamic vinegar and seltzer water.

The idea is to cut the sugar. But what’s “healthy” diet-wise isn’t healthy all the way around.

“Carbonated water itself is shown to be very acidic. The ADA (American Dental Association) released a study that shows it can cause damage and erosion on your teeth and balsamic vinegar is acidic as well, so when you combine the two it creates a beverage that is not good,” said Dr. Michael Farmer, a Charlotte-area dentist.

Your tooth enamel is the outer covering. It’s what you see of your teeth and that’s what is being damaged by the seltzer water and the vinegar. Once tooth enamel is damaged, it cannot be brought back, although some restoration is possible.

Most of us aren’t out there drinking balsamic vinegar but carbonated water is popular. So, if this is your drink of choice, how do you minimize the damage to your teeth?

Dr. Farmer has three recommendations:

Chew sugarless chewing gum. “It stimulates salivary flow and that helps neutralize those acids,” said Farmer. Check for the American Dental Association seal on it. 

Rinse with water. If you don’t have gum, swish regular tap water around in your mouth for 30 seconds after you’ve had a carbonated drink.

Drink with a straw. “It helps to avoid getting the acid on the front of the teeth and decreases the number of surfaces that have the acidic liquid,” said Farmer.

The last recommendation, drink the fizzy water and be done with it. Don’t drink it throughout the day. Constant exposure is not good for your teeth.

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