The weather is heating up in Sacramento and it’s always a good idea to keep hydrated. Most of our Sacramento dental patients know how harmful it can be to drink sodas all day, but did you know that sparkling water may also adversely affect the health of your teeth? Generally with no sugar, how can carbonated water be that bad?
An Alternative, But…
It’s certainly not as bad as imbibing sodas and other sugary drinks, but sparkling water is fizzy because it contains carbon dioxide. When you take a sip of that fizzy water, it creates a chemical reaction, turning carbon dioxide into carbonic acid, one of the substances that makes sparkling water taste and feel so refreshing. So yes, it is “fizz without the sugar.” But that same fizz is where the potential harm comes from. Any form of acid, consumed in excess or consistently, can wear away your tooth enamel. While sparkling water is less acidic than most soft drinks or lemonade, it’s probably not a good idea to sip it all day, especially if you like make it even more acidic by adding lemon to your carbonated water.
Protect Your Tooth Enamel
It may sound boring, but the best way to protect your tooth enamel is to drink plain water. If you must have the fizz, using a straw can help protect your teeth. Some studies have also shown that eating a small mount of cheese after drinking acidic beverages neutralizes their damaging effect. Also, drinking it while you consume a meal helps to blunt the effects of the acid. And remember, sparkling water without additional acid from citrus flavors is far less damaging.
Do I Have Eroded Enamel?
When enamel erodes and thins, teeth appear yellower. Front teeth may also look transparent at the tips. In advanced stages of enamel loss, small cracks may develop in your teeth, making them feel rough. Enamel loss also causes tooth sensitivity. This pain is especially noticeable when drinking hot or cold beverages, like iced carbonated water.
Conclusions on Carbonation
To prevent or slow down enamel loss, maintain a daily dental routine that includes brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after acidic beverages, but instead wait for twenty to thirty minutes. You can also rinse your mouth first and then brush your teeth. Some mouthwashes also help remineralize your tooth enamel. See the Sacramento Dentistry Group for cleanings and exams twice a year. Finally, limit your daily consumption of carbonated beverages.