Do you prefer your water flat or fizzy? If you answered fizzy, then Drs. Boyd, the dentists Midtown Manhattan residents turn to for comprehensive dental care, would like to sway your vote. In addition to carbonation concerns, the Drs. Boyd’s platform supports drinking water from the tap. Plain bottled water and sparkling waters do not have fluoride. And, fluoride is very important for your dental health.
Recent reports from several media outlets—The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Today—all agree that sparkling water, club soda and seltzer are likely to erode your tooth enamel over time.
How can this be if we’re really only talking about water and carbon dioxide, which is the active ingredient that gives these bubbly drinks their fizz? It’s because a chemical reaction occurs between carbon dioxide and water that creates carbonic acid. This acid not only gives sparkling water a refreshing zing, but it also wears away your tooth enamel — which leads to tooth sensitivity and ultimately cavities.
The good news is: when compared to regular and diet sodas, sparkling water is a better choice. The fact is the lower the pH of your drink — the higher the acidic content. And the higher the acid level, the more damaging a drink can be to your teeth.
Let’s take a look at some numbers. For comparison purposes, it’s important to note that teeth begin to dissolve at a pH of 5.5. Water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. Perrier comes in at around 5.5, because on its own, carbonic acid is relatively weak. Add lemon or other citrus flavoring and the pH begins to drop. Most flavored sparkling or soda waters have pH levels that range between 2.74 and 3.34 — with cola drinks at 2.52. So while you’re certainly better off drinking sparkling water rather than cola, your teeth are still at risk.
Healthy Drink, Strong Teeth
Drs. Boyd agree that limiting carbonated beverages is best for your oral health. However, if you really enjoy the refreshing taste of sparkling water, club soda or seltzer, there are steps you can take to prevent these beverages from bathing your teeth in acid. First, drink them with a straw. This reduces the amount of acid that ends up on your teeth. Secondly, enjoy them with meals, and if you do occasionally sip a sparkling water during the day, rinse with clear water afterwards. Brushing is not recommended immediately after eating or drinking. Your teeth are “softened” by the acids in food and beverage, and you can remove enamel by brushing too soon. You should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
Call Our Office Today
Drs. Boyd are the Midtown Manhattan dentists who are dedicated to helping their patients benefit from practicing good oral healthcare habits. For more information or to schedule a visit, call our office at (212) 755-9055.