Sparkling water is bad for your teeth

HOUSTON – Sparkling water is refreshing and flavorful, but dentists warn the refreshment might not be sparkling for your pearly whites.

Dr. Amanda Juarez is the owner of Houston Uptown Dentists.

“They (sparkling water) are a lot more fun, and they taste a lot better than plain water, but they’re not realizing how acidic they are and how much damage they are causing to their teeth.”

Dr. Juarez has the not-so-refreshing reality of sparkling water for those who enjoy the beverage regularly.

“Sparkling water is more dangerous than OJ and wine because you are not going to drink OJ or wine all day. So, these are beverages people are sipping on the entire day and as they are doing that, that is constantly bathing their teeth in acid,” explained Dr. Juarez.

What makes sparkling water acidic?

According to Dr. Juarez, “The carbonation process, it basically makes a carbonic acid in the water, and it is almost acidic as battery acid. Worse than even soda, or a diet soda.  It is very acidic.”

Everything we consume has a pH level. The lower the pH level, the higher the acidity. Still, water is considered neutral with a pH level of 6 to 7. Experts warn, anything with a pH level below 5 can be harmful to your teeth.

“Many of my patients know soda is bad for you, especially sweet and regular soda.  They think it is the sugar, it’s really the combination of the sugar and the acid,” said Dr. Juarez. “So it is the acidity softening the tooth that opens the door to bacteria that can then cause cavities or start to strip the enamel off the teeth. Once the enamel layer, that hard, outer layer of your tooth is missing, you can’t get it back. It’s gone. I have patients in their 20s and 30s and their teeth look like a 60- or 70-year-old and their teeth are shortening and it’s what I call potholes or dents in their back teeth and that is from acid erosion.”

Here are tips for those who enjoy sparkling water:

  • Dr. Juarez suggests limit your consumption. Drink the beverage with a meal. 

“When you’re eating you are going to make more saliva and saliva is a really good buffer, it helps to dilute the acid,” Dr. Juarez said. 

  • Drink sparkling water through a straw. 

  • Rinse your mouth with still water after you drink the beverage. 

  • Lastly, do not brush your teeth after drinking sparkling water. Dr. Juarez suggests waiting at least 30 minutes to an hour to brush your teeth because the last thing you want to do is get in there with an abrasive toothpaste and start scrubbing while your enamel is soft.

Of the brands we tested, we reached out to the companies and did not receive a response.

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