Is Flavored Water Bad For Your Teeth?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website.
Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Flavored waters often sound like the perfect alternative to sugary beverages like sodas, juices, and energy drinks. Flavored waters typically have less sugar and additives than these beverages. However, flavored water might not be as healthy as we typically think.

Like many other sugar-sweetened beverages, flavored waters can damage your teeth. This is due to the acidity and sugar that can be found in these drinks. Water flavored with fruit juices is mildly acidic, promoting enamel erosion, while sugary beverages can encourage bacterial growth.

So, is all lost for flavored waters? Should you avoid these drinks entirely? Here’s everything you need to know on whether or not flavored water is bad for your teeth.

The Effects of Flavored Water on Your Teeth

Sporty woman drinking water

You might consider flavored waters like La Croix, San Pellegrino, and Bubly to be healthy drinks. Certainly these drinks are more nutritious than soda and energy drinks, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

Flavored waters are like many other sugary beverages which are are typically acidic, as measured by their pH balance. Frequent consumption of acidic drinks can result in the weakening, softening, and erosion of tooth enamel.

Loss of tooth enamel can result in weak and sensitive teeth, and sensitive teeth make it harder to enjoy both cold and hot foods. Enamel erosion can also lead to dental decay if not treated properly.

Are Flavored Waters The Same As Sparkling?

Flavored waters are not the same as sparkling. Carbonation does not pose as much threat to tooth enamel as acidic flavorings do. Unflavored sparkling waters have shown to do little to no damage to teeth. For those reasons, flavored waters can be much more of a risk than unflavored sparkling beverages.

Is Flavored Water Better Than Soda?

Flavored water and sparkling waters are the lesser evil when it comes to sugary drinks. Sodas, energy drinks, and juices erode teeth enamel much faster than flavored water. Not to mention, these drinks typically have more sugar, additives, and empty calories.

How to Enjoy Sparkling Water Without Damaging Your Teeth

So, should you kick flavored waters out of your diet entirely? The short answer is: not necessarily. Fortunately, with enough moderation and mindfulness, you can still enjoy flavored and sparkling waters.

There isn’t a defined “safe amount” or a daily recommended dosage for flavored waters. Protecting your teeth from damage requires self-moderation and mindfulness. To help with this and get you started, we’ve come up with a list of tips.

Don’t Use Flavored Water As a Primary Drink

Like all other sugary beverages, flavored water should be enjoyed in moderation. To prevent damage to your teeth, don’t make flavored water your primary drink. Switch out sparkling and flavored waters for regular H2O as often as possible.

Minimize Time Exposure

Minimize the time your teeth are exposed to acidity by avoiding holding in big gulps of flavored water before swallowing. Holding in acidic beverages exposes your teeth for more extended periods of time, resulting in more damage.

Don’t Brush Right After

Brushing right after a sugary drink seems like the perfect solution, right? Wrong! As stated earlier, sugary drinks weaken tooth enamel.

Brushing right after your teeth have been softened only adds to the erosion. For the best results, wait a little bit before brushing your teeth and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Use a Straw or Sipper

Many dentists recommend using a straw or sipper when consuming acidic beverages. This is because straws and sippers prevent sugary drinks from hitting our teeth directly.

You can find great reusable water bottles with straws and sippers on Amazon for affordable prices. Some of our favorites are the Venture Pal Half Gallon (on Amazon) and the Simple Modern Tumbler (on Amazon).

Eat Calcium-Rich Foods

Flavored waters weaken tooth enamel and reduce calcium levels. Calcium is known to improve tooth strength, so it’s important to eat calcium-rich foods. Some calcium-rich foods can include milk, cheese, leafy greens, and beans.

Drink With a Meal

It’s best to drink flavored waters and other sugary beverages with meals. This is because eating stimulates the flow of acid-neutralizing saliva. Acid-neutralizing saliva helps protect our teeth and enamel from damage.

Following these tips is sure to lessen damage to your teeth. Practicing moderation and mindfulness will protect the health of your teeth over the long run.

So, What’s The Verdict? Should You Cut Out Flavored Waters?

Morning breakfast with lemon sparking water

Should you swear off flavored and sparkling waters for good? The short answer is: it’s probably unnecessary to cut out. With proper moderation, flavored waters don’t pose much of a threat to tooth enamel.

In fact, flavored waters are much better than sodas and other sugary beverages.

However, frequent consumption of acidic drinks can weaken teeth enamel. For those reasons, it’s best to practice moderation and mindfulness when consuming flavored waters. Avoid making this your primary source of hydration, don’t swish it around your mouth, and use a straw or sipper if you can.

Leave a Comment