If you’re a seltzer drinker, your dentist can probably tell.
Carbonated water is celebrated as a low-sugar alternative to soda, but it’s still acidic, which means it can harm your tooth enamel. The rise and popularity of these carbonated beverages has not been met by the awareness of what it can do to your teeth.
Enamel erosion during exams is frequently noticed. If asked about eating and drinking habits, 9 times out of 10 patients say they regularly sip sparkling water or lemon water.
In some people with naturally thinner enamel, even just a few seltzers a day can lead to visual signs of dental wear, she said.
Damage can range from really mild to in certain areas of the teeth, enamel is totally gone.
While water has a neutral pH of about 7, seltzer’s acidic pH can be around 4 or lower, which studies suggest can erode enamel.
If left untouched in a pH of about 4.6 for a few hours, a tooth will form a tiny (20-micron) lesion, according to a research on enamel.
That’s an extreme example, but even if you have a habit of downing a seltzer every few hours “you can create a local pH change in your oral cavity” that’s more acidic and could lead to layers of minute enamel damage.
For context, lemon juice has a pH of about 2, Coca-Cola’s pH is below 3 and black coffee’s pH is around 5.
Be smart: If you want to get your “spicy water” fix with minimal negative impact to your teeth:
1. Swish flat water in between seltzers to neutralize the pH and protect from stains.
2. Use a straw to minimize the amount of time your teeth are in direct contact with something acidic.
3. Read the label. Sugars, sugar alcohols and flavoring can cause extra damage. When it comes to ingredients, less is more.
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