There has been a debate recently on whether or not sparkling water is as good for you as plain water.
When reading the label of sparkling water there is no mention of sugar or other ingredients so it is difficult to assess if there really is a problem with drinking it.
The potential problem with drinking sparkling water lays in the fact that it is more acidic that plain water.
The reason that sparkling water has its refreshing fizz is due to the carbon dioxide (CO2) infused in it. There is a chemical reaction that takes place upon drinking the sparkling water that transforms this CO2 into what’s known as carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid is what is responsible for the refreshing kick in the sparkling water however it also makes the drink more acidic than plain water. Beware too if you like to add lime or lemon juice to your fizzy water; this too will raise the acidity even more.
As acid levels in the mouth rise, the risk of damaging tooth enamel rises. The acid that is in food and drinks can lead to wearing away of dental enamel and dental erosion.
While sparkling water is far less acidic than orange juice and soda, it still can be harmful to the teeth. It is especially harmful when you are sipping and swishing on sparkling water all day long. This is the most dangerous type of usage. This is why plain water is best to drink. Plain water is less acidic than sparkling.
If you need something to sip on all day long than the absolute best choice is plain water. It is the safest for your teeth due to the low acidity.
Acidity is ranked on a scale called the pH scale. Plain water has a neutral pH level of 7 while soda can be as low as 2. When evaluating bottled water, sparkling or non-sparkling, the pH ranges from 5-7. As time goes on the acidity builds up and the damage to the teeth can begin.
Sparkling water is far superior to sparkling water so keep this in mind. Go with plain water as often as possible and avoid soda whenever possible.
If you are going to have sparkling water than the best time to do it is with a meal. This is because you are stimulating your saliva flow with food and the saliva contains important enzymes that combat the acidity by neutralizing and buffering it.
People that are generally healthy with normal saliva levels are less vulnerable and have a lower risk of problems from drinking sparkling water.
Those with dry mouth and more complicated medical situations may be more at risk for problems with their teeth if they are drinking sparkling water regularly.
Be sure to carefully check the ingredients of your sparkling water because sometimes it is not only infused with CO2, there can be hidden artificial flavoring and sweeteners as well. Also club soda sometimes can contain additional sodium. When trying to drink only plain water, always be sure to check each label for hidden ingredients.
If you are unsure if your teeth have suffered from enamel wear and erosion, be sure to see your dentist right away. They will be able to evaluate your teeth and gums and provide the best advice to steer you in the right direction.
Call 215.568.6222 for a free consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier. At this visit they can access the health of your teeth and your gums with an examination and cavity detection x-rays. They can also review nutritional tips and guidelines for how to best stay protected. We look forward to meeting you soon!