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As the new year begins many of us are trying to choose healthier options. This includes attempting to make smarter choices in our choice of drink. A choice for many is to forego sugary sodas and choose carbonated water. The thought is we will choose a lower calorie drink that is also less harmful to our oral health. But is sparkling water safer for our teeth and gums?
What Is Sparkling Water?
Sparkling water is made by dissolving carbon dioxide in water, creating carbonic acid. This chemical process just adds bubbles. It does not add sugar, calories, or even caffeine. Tonic water, club soda, and mineral water are all types of readily available carbonated water, but these have added sodium, vitamins, or sweeteners, so it’s important to read the label.
Is Sparkling Water Harmful To Our Teeth?
Yes, sparkling water can harm your teeth. While sparkling water is only slightly more acidic than regular tap water it has the power to do damage to our teeth’s enamel through a process called tooth erosion (wearing away of the outer layer of our teeth due to acids).
Some of the causes of tooth enamel erosion include:
-Consuming excessive amounts of sodas (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
-Fruit drinks (some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid)
-Dry mouth or low salivary flow (xerostomia)
-Diet (high in sugar and starches)
-Acid reflux disease (also called GERD)
-Medications (for example aspirin and antihistamines)
-Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, and stress)
Research has shown that sparkling water has a pH (measure of aciditiy) of approximately 3 (with 5 being neutral). The researchers used extracted teeth and placed them in glasses filled with various types of sparkling waters. What they found was quite surprising. Sparkling water does in fact have the acidity to erode tooth enamel. In fact, the researchers found that the sparkling water compared to orange juice in terms of its erosive effect.
Sparkling Water Conclusion
While the research showed that the sparkling waters can erode tooth enamel, it is important to note that if used in moderation it is a perfectly healthy alternative to sodas and energy drinks. Remember to practice good oral hygiene after using these drinks and you should have little to worry about in terms of your dental health.
Many parents have the misconception that teething causes diarrhea. What’s the correlation, you may ask? It is believed that the excess saliva that comes with teething can affect the gastrointestinal system. However, although there is no evidence of a causal relationship, this idea may not be completely baseless, as teething babies put a variety of […]
Turns out you can have straighter teeth by mail! Well, at least that is what a few by-mail-only orthodontia companies believe. In an effort to help patients save money, some orthodontic companies are having patients send their impressions to them by mail instead of going in for a dentist’s consultation. While this approach may save […]
Did you know alligators can replace each of their teeth up to 50 times in their life? Humans are unique among vertebrates for being able to replace our teeth only once. But new insights into how alligators replace their teeth may help stimulate the same process in ours. Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., has discovered […]
Recently hailed as an inexpensive and organic alternative to teeth whitening, fruit concoctions have arisen as the new way to get those pearly whites. But is there any truth to all these claims? A study at the University of Iowa points to “No”. Associate Professor So Ran Kwon tested homemade strawberry-baking soda mix, over the […]
From the moment they erupt in our mouths as children, our teeth play a major part in our lives. As such, it’s essential to care for them well during childhood and continuing into adulthood. In a recent study done with lab rats, it was found that when teeth were exposed to BPA, “there were multiple […]
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