As refreshing as sparkling water is, the acidity in it can cause damage to your teeth. The acid reaction softens up your teeth enamel, making it vulnerable to damage. Using a straw or drinking sparkling water with a meal can help prevent these harmful effects.
While it may not be as harmful as other carbonated or sugary drinks, sparkling water can indeed harm your teeth due to its acidity. Compared to tap water, which has a pH (acidity score) of 7, or neutral, sparkling water usually has a pH of ~5 or even lower, and this acidity can damage your teeth.
Flavored sparkling waters should be avoided even more, due to their extremely low pH levels of 3 or 2.5 which makes them more acidic and harmful for your teeth. Sparkling water can be a good replacement for sugary drinks but must be consumed moderately. Using a straw and not drinking right before bed are some ways to prevent the negative effects of sparkling water on your teeth.
Effects of Sparkling Water on Your Teeth
While sparkling water like Perrier (on Amazon) can be refreshing and may also help you to cut down on sugary drinks, it can have harmful effects on your teeth.
By drinking sparkling water, you may be cutting down on sugar. However, you’re still introducing your teeth to acid, which is harmful for your teeth. Sparkling water contains carbonic acid, which is a threat to the enamel on your teeth.
While tap water has a pH of 7, unflavored sparkling water can have a pH of 5 which moves it closer to being acidic. Furthermore, some kinds of sparkling waters that have flavor can even go as low as 3 or 2.5 on the pH scale, making them much more harmful for your teeth.
Compared to many other sports drinks which are usually labeled as “extremely erosive” for your teeth, sparkling water is labeled as “minimally erosive.” So while it may not sound as bad as other sugary drinks, it can still have adverse effects on your teeth.
Tips to Prevent Sparkling Water Damage on Your Teeth
While sparkling water may not be as harmful as other carbonated or sugary drinks, it’s important to understand that it can have negative effects on your teeth. Here are some tips to prevent that damage:
Don’t Brush Your Teeth Directly After
While brushing your teeth right after having some sparkling water may sound as the right thing to do, that is actually not the case. The acid in sparkling water actually softens your teeth enamel – therefore, brushing right after would make them sensitive to abrasion.
It’s best to wait about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
Don’t Drink Right Before Going To Sleep
The longer the acidity from the sparkling water stays in your teeth, the more damage it has potential of causing. So, do not consume sparkling water right before you go to sleep. This will prevent the acid from causing overnight damage.
Use a Straw
Using a straw bypasses the sparkling water, and it does not come into contact with your teeth. This keeps them safe from enamel deterioration.
Drink With a Meal
Try having sparkling water with a meal – the food will help break down the acid in the water, making it less harmful for your teeth.
Don’t Drink When Dehydrated
Saliva in your mouth helps break down and neutralize the acid from sparkling water. Therefore, make sure you’re hydrated before drinking to help neutralize the acid.
Rinse Your Mouth
Rinsing with tap water helps wash the acid out of your mouth. So, rinse your mouth with water after drinking sparkling water.