It’s no secret that Americans have gotten the message about unhealthy lifestyles and are trying to make much-needed changes. In fact, the health and wellness trend has taken hold across many different consumer groups, especially among millennials born between 1980 and 1999.
Forbes has even called health and wellness the new luxury and suggests the definition has evolved over time and now represents a holistic balanced mental, physical and emotional state of being. More people today want to feel good and look good and aren’t afraid to do what it takes to make that happen.
Swapping Soda for Seltzer
One of the health trends that’s hard to ignore – particularly after data showed last year that for the first time bottled water sales beat out soda sales – is the swapping of soda for healthier alternatives. One of the most popular alternatives is carbonated or seltzer water, and although they may be better than sodas, they come with their own concerns.
“It’s a much better choice than regular or even diet sodas,” said Dr. Ken Collins, who owns a thriving dental practice in Spokane, Washington. “Soda consumption has been linked in numerous studies to obesity and diabetes among many other health problems. But when it comes to carbonated water, the acidity can be a problem for teeth.”
The biggest problem when it comes to sparkling water is the carbonic acid found in almost all carbonated waters. This acid is what gives the drink its telltale bubbling effect. It is weak on its own, but when flavor is added it can soften tooth enamel, according to several studies.
A study conducted at the University of Birmingham put extracted teeth into jars with different flavored carbonated water drinks for 30 minutes. Researchers discovered that the flavored seltzer waters softened the tooth enamel as much as orange juice did and even more so in some of the results. More acidic flavors like lemon, lime and grapefruit did the most damage.
Another study from the same research team tested plain sparkling waters without flavoring and found that they softened the enamel 100 times less than other bubbly beverages. This research suggests that perhaps unflavored sparkling water is the best choice when it comes to choosing between carbonated beverages.
Protecting Teeth From Daily Indulgences
One of the biggest struggles with lifestyle changes is that the more dramatic the change and the more deprivation a person feels, the less likely they are to stick with the changes. That’s why Collins suggests enjoying your favorite things in moderation without feeling guilty about it.
“When you indulge in your favorite foods or drinks, you can avoid a lot of damage by simply knowing how to take care of your teeth on a daily basis,” he said. “For instance, when the enamel is softened from something acidic, a lot of people think the best thing to do is brush teeth immediately after. But the enamel is softened, so brushing that soon wears it away faster.”
Instead, Collins recommends brushing teeth 30 minutes after sugary drinks or meals. In the meantime, rinsing the mouth with water right afterward boosts the body’s natural ability to return the mouth to a balanced environment.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788