Your teeth are directly impacted by the beverage choices you make every day. Some drinks, like soda, are well known tooth destroyers. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious which drinks will damage your teeth. One such seemingly benign refreshment is flavored sparkling water.
Sparkling Water Acidity
A popular alternative to soda is flavored sparkling water. This drink is seen by many as being a healthy choice for people who want a carbonated beverage to replace soda. Although some brands may contain less sugar than leading soda brands, flavored sparkling water is not much better for your teeth. A group of researchers at the University of Birmingham tested flavored sparkling water to determine whether or not it could cause tooth erosion. They first tested the acidity by finding the pH, which was right around 3. On the pH scale, lower numbers indicate a higher acidity. Enamel is known to start eroding at a pH of 5.5, meaning that anything with a lower pH will damage enamel.
The Acidity of Other Drinks
When looking at the pH of other drinks, it is easy to see that flavored sparkling water is not much better for your teeth than the drinks that we know cause tooth damage. Coke and Pepsi have a pH of 2.5, only slightly lower than the sparkling water people drink as an alternative. Orange juice, another known acidic drink has a pH of 3.5, making it slightly less acidic than sparkling water. If you’re thinking of switching from flavored sparkling water to regular flavored water, you should consider the fact that flavored water has a pH of 3.4, putting it in the tooth-damaging range as well. This study looked at flavored sparkling waters, and unflavored sparkling waters often have a more neutral pH, often above the 5.5 level that is damaging to tooth enamel.
Sipping Throughout the Day
You don’t have to give up your flavored sparkling water all together to protect your teeth. Instead, change how you consume it. Many people sip on their drinks throughout the day for optimum enjoyment. This habit means that your teeth are being exposed to the acid all day in bursts without giving the enamel time to be refreshed. Instead, drink your beverage in one sitting so that your enamel is only exposed for a short period of time. Make sure that you drink plenty of regular water as well. Staying hydrated is important for saliva production, which is essential for the health of your enamel. Your teeth are important for your health, and will last a long time if you take good care of them. For more information about what you can do to take care of your teeth or to schedule a cleaning as part of your oral health care, please call (509) 581-4188 for an appointment at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane.