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How Sparkling Water Is Ruining Your Smile

Sparkling Water and Teeth

How Sparkling Water Is Ruining Your Smile

Sparkling Water and TeethYou’ve heard you should steer clear of soda. You’ve been told to “just say no” to juice. Coffee and tea are supposedly taboo if you want to maintain a sparkling smile. But sparkling water? Where’s the harm in that? Well, let go of the LaCroix and read on.

Carbonation, the stuff that gives bubbly water its’ fizz, is made of CO2. CO2 reacts with the  chemicals in your mouth to become carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is what gives it that delicious bite, but it also makes it more acidic. And acid is what wears away your enamel, exposing you to discoloration, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, and even a higher risk of chips and cracks.  But is bubbly water is acidic as coffee, soda or juice?

Most experts say no. But a 2007 study by the University of Birmingham School of Dentistry, in which they exposed teeth to flavored sparkling water for 30 minutes found that the “erosive potential” of seltzer water is “similar to or greater than that of pure orange juice, an established erosive drink.” Does that mean you should switch to orange juice? Not at all. Orange juice is not only acidic, but high in sugar, which could also cause cavities. 

Sparkling water is definitely a better beverage choice than soda or other sugary drinks. In fact, it’s generally thought of as one of the healthiest beverages you can drink, second to only, well, regular water. But you might be drinking so much of the bubbly stuff that the sheer amount you’re putting in your mouth could start having an effect on your oral health. And if you add lemon or lime to your water, it only adds to the acid, which could further affect the quality of your enamel.

So how much bubbly water should you be drinking? It depends a lot on your diet and health history. If you’re generally avoiding acid and sugar in your everyday diet, chances are the acid from that Pellegrino isn’t going to affect the overall state of your enamel. And if you just can’t quit the carbonated water habit, you could always cut it with non-carbonated water, or just swish with regular water in between sips.

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