How many times have you read or heard that drinking soda can damage your teeth because of the sugar? Even diet soda that contains artificial sweeteners can have a negative impact on your teeth. If you’re like most people, you’ve completely lost count of how many times those facts have been drilled into your head.
That’s why many people have switched to flavored seltzer water. In fact, flavored seltzer water has really taken off in popularity in the last few years and many brands are now dominating store shelves in the United States and abroad. Is seltzer water really that much better though?
Keep reading to learn more about how seltzer water really affects your pearly whites.
When you make seltzer water at home or when you crack open a can or bottle of premade stuff, you can see and hear those bubbles. The effervescent and refreshing nature of carbonated water is what generally draws people to it.
That fizziness is produced by adding pressurized carbon dioxide to the water. If you make your own seltzer water, you’re probably already familiar with the CO2 bottles you have to buy to create the carbonation.
When carbon dioxide gets added to water it leaves carbonic acid, which is generally referred to as a weak acid. Over time, too much exposure to high levels carbonic acid can erode some of the natural enamel and calcium in your teeth, leaving you with a cavity.
That’s only part of the story though.
The higher the pH balance in water, the less acidic it is. In general, water with a lot of gas added to it will have a lower pH balance, meaning it contains more potentially problematic acid.
To figure out the pH level of the seltzer water you like, one of the best things you can do is buy a simple pH testing kit. These are relatively easy to find online and they only cost a few dollars.
Some manufacturers also provide information on pH, but this is often hard to come by, especially when dealing with commercial seltzer water. When testing, know that tap water in the US has an average pH of between 6.5 and 9.5.
Most people think seltzer water and carbonated water are the same. But it really depends on the ingredients.
Most naturally carbonated waters like San Pellegrino have a higher pH balance and tend to be less problematic for your teeth. Naturally, carbonated mineral water sometimes contains calcium and other minerals that are actually beneficial. Test your carbonated water or request information from the manufacturer.
Seltzer water may not be the perfect beverage for your teeth, but on its own, it shouldn’t do too much harm. Additives in your carbonated water, however, can really wreak havoc on your teeth.
Brands that use acidic elements like natural lemon or lime juice can be a bit more problematic. Sugar is also an obvious concern.
Limit your intake of seltzer water with added ingredients that are acidic or sweet.
At the end of the day, plain seltzer water is pretty harmless for the average person that gets regular dental checkups and maintains a reasonable oral care routine at home. While it certainly shouldn’t replace plain tap water – which contains beneficial fluoride in most parts of the United States – completely, it can be part of your regular routine.
As with most things, just drink your seltzer water in moderation to keep your teeth healthy. If you have any questions, please consult with Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry about this or any other oral health issue.