The popularity of sparkling water or flavored sparkling water is escalating as it is a healthier alternative to soft drinks. There are many brands and flavors out on the market, and we all have our favorites. It is fizzy, refreshing, and usually zero calories. It makes us feel good about our beverage choice. But have you ever been left wondering how sparkling water affects your teeth and can it be damaging your pearly whites?
Carbonation is what gives your sparkling water that fizzy refreshment. It is the carbonation that has some people concerned. Can carbonation be bad for your teeth? According to a Journal of the American Dental Association study found that many popular sports drinks were "extremely erosive," while most sparkling carbonated waters ranked as "minimally erosive." This leaves us wondering does minimally erosive equate to "bad"?
Sparkling water is much less erosive than other beverages. According to the U.S. News & World Report article, "For an average, healthy person, carbonated, sugar-free beverages are not going to be a main cavity-causing factor." However, it is not necessarily good for you. It is better to replace soda with sparkling water, but do not replace fluoridated water with sparkling. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities and makes teeth stronger.
Be mindful of what is in your sparkling water. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that do increase the risk of damage to your enamel. It is better to enjoy these in one sitting or with meals. This way, you are not sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth repeatedly to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.
Sparkling water brands with added sugar can no longer be considered just sparkling water. They are now a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities. It is important to remember, sparkling or not, plain water is always the best choice.