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Is Carbonated Water Better for My Teeth?

October 29, 2019 | Uncategorized | The Office of Palisades Dentists

4 Minute Read

If you have made the switch from harsh beverages, like soda or coffee, to a carbonated alternative, such as sparkling water, then you might want to read this.

Making the switch from sodas and sugary drinks to carbonated water is usually a good move for dental health, but there are some cases where they can still cause damage.

Making the switch from sodas and sugary drinks to carbonated water is usually a good move for dental health, but there are some cases where they can still cause damage.

Your tooth enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, which slowly dissolves in water.

This process creates calcium, phosphate, and hydroxyl ions. Drinking a liquid that does not contain these three items causes your teeth to slowly release enamel to fill in the missing ingredients.

This process is known as demineralization of the teeth. Extensive erosion of the enamel can lead to severe tooth concerns.

What Drinks Can Cause Demineralization?

Sodas, juices, coffee, and club soda all typically contain high acidity levels.

Bubbly water, seltzer water, and fizzy water are all different names for unflavored, unsweetened carbonated water, which is less acidic.

The lower the pH level of the drink, the more acidic and harmful the drink is to your teeth.

Can Carbonated Water Damage Teeth?

When a drink is carbonated, carbonic acid develops in the liquid. This alone is not usually enough to damage the teeth.

But some beverages like club soda can sometimes contain disodium phosphate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, salt, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium citrate.

Tonic water can contain sugar, sweeteners, and flavoring.

All of these additives can affect the acidity level of the drink, increasing enamel corrosion.

What Is a Safe pH Level?

Neutral pH levels range around 6-8, and pH levels lower than 4 are highly erosive and cause demineralization.

For example, regular plain flat water ranges around 7 in acidity level, which is considered neutral and non-damaging to your teeth.

How Do I Know if My Enamel Is Damaged?

Some warning signs that tooth decay is occurring can include:

  • Sensitivity: Eating or drinking hot or cold products causes discomfort or pain
  • Discoloration: The teeth change to a more yellow, brown, or generally dark color
  • Other concerns: Any unusual developments in your teeth or gums

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Tooth Enamel Damage

Everyone has unique teeth and various oral acidity levels, so different treatments will be better to help each patient achieve their desired smile.

Scheduling a consultation with one of our dentists can help them evaluate your mouth and determine your best treatment plan.

We have created a generic, comprehensive list of some daily tips for improving your overall oral pH levels. These tips include:

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking to brush your teeth
  • If you drink something acidic, eat food or drink plain, flat water with it. You can also dilute your acidic beverage with tap water to reduce the damaging effects. If you consume a bubbly beverage on occasion, try rinsing your mouth out with regular water after
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Check-ups are designed to prevent significant issues from accumulating in your mouth
  • Do not ignore abnormal symptoms, such as having a dry mouth
  • Drink lukewarm, flat water more often

What Should I Drink?

Carbonated water, even flavored brands, can still lead to erosion in your tooth enamel, but it is a better option than drinking soda or other detrimental options.

Carbonation alone does not appear to damage the teeth. However, other added ingredients can contribute to the demineralization of teeth.

Unless you want to test all of your favorite beverages with pH testing sheets, the healthiest thing you can do for your teeth is to opt for flat, plain water or make your own bubbly water at home without added ingredients.

Water being poured from a faucet into a clear glass.

Water directly from the tap may be less harmful than carbonated alternative drinks.

Have More Questions?

Would you like to learn more about the acidity levels in your mouth and what causes demineralization?

Please call our office at (310) 459-2303 to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today! You can also fill out a new patient form online by clicking here.

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