Most of us have heard, in school or other places that water makes up 60% of the human body.
And the percentage gets higher in essential organs like the brain, which is 73% water.
And doctors tell us that there’s no better choice than water when it’s time to hydrate.
After all, water is sugar-free, caffeine-free, calorie-free, and free of most additives, particularly unhealthy ones.
And some doctors recommend we drink at least two litres of water daily. But that’s a lot of water, and water can be plain, even dull.
To mix things up, many Australians bolster their daily water consumption by drinking sparkling water.
If regular water is a bit flat, why not add a bit of fizziness, perhaps a bit of fruit taste, to spice it up?
At the same time, there has been media coverage warning that sparkling water may pose a threat to your teeth.
At DonEast Supreme Dental, our one goal is to protect your smile and dental health, so today we’re going to share our stance on sparkling water, how safe it is, and if you should drink it.
What is Sparkling Water?
Plain sparkling water, with no added salt, sugar, or flavouring, is nothing more than water that has been carbonated to give it bubbles.
During this carbonation process, pressurised carbon dioxide gas is dissolved into the water, creating, as a side effect, carbonic acid.
The potential danger is that, in theory at least, the carbonic acid could attack tooth enamel, harming your teeth.
It is known that highly acidic food and drink can lead to sensitivity, erosion, cavities, and worse.
So, what’s important to know is: is the acidity in sparkling water high enough to attack and harm your tooth enamel?
The answer seems to be “not really, at least in real life.”
A Dive into the Science
Dr Edmond Hewlett, a professor at the University of California–Los Angeles School of Dentistry, has explained the process of carbonation degrading into acid as CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3.
What this means is that once a drink is opened, its carbonic acid breaks down into H2O and carbon dioxide (the bubbles).
This means, that over time, and as it warms, sparkling water becomes less acidic. But while it is still cold and bubbly, sparkling water is more acidic than plain water.
How much more? Water has a pH level of 7, which is nearly matched to the healthy pH of the mouth (about 7.4). A lower pH means higher acidity and more threat to the enamel.
Soft drinks have a pH from 2 to 4, while fruit juices are between 3 and 5. Sparkling water checks in at a much less dangerous level – between 5 and 7.
This is important because scientists tell us that enamel begins to dissolve in pH levels under 5.5. This means most sparkling water is in the safe range, but some have slightly high acidity.
What does this mean?
Sparkling water is substantially healthier for your teeth than fruit juices or soda, which are more erosive and contain unhealthy amounts of sugar (known to harm teeth) and empty calories (known to harm overall health).
And most dentists believe that, while some studies have associated sparkling water with enamel erosion, in the real world the risk is small.
Professor David Manton (University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Dental School) advises that sparkling water is ” safe for teeth as long as it is drunk in moderation”.
Drink sparkling water sensibly
If you are in good health, with strong teeth, and eat a tooth-healthy diet, carbonated water is most likely not going to erode your tooth enamel or lead to other dental issues.
To be safe, choose brands that do not add sugar or acidic flavouring elements (often citric acid).
You can also take the following steps:
- Take your drink with food. Don’t drink sparkling water across long periods – drink it during meals. Chewing food increases saliva production, neutralising and buffering the effect of acid on tooth enamel.
- Drink acidic (or sugary) drinks through a straw. A straw defends teeth by minimising contact between a drink and tooth enamel.
- Wash it down with water. Drink water after sparkling water. This rinses teeth and prevents enamel erosion.
- Chew Xylitol gum. Sugar-free Xylitol gum decreases acid level in the mouth.
If you follow our advice, you can drink sparkling water secure in the knowledge that it is good for you and won’t harm your teeth!
The DonEast Supreme Dental Difference
At DonEast Supreme Dental, we treat you like our family.
We provide the highest quality, caring dentistry in the Doncaster area, including an extensive range of dental services and treatments including preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dental options; and we offer them during extended evening and weekend hours.
We are conveniently located on Doncaster Rd. near its intersection with Blackburn Rd.
Doncaster East dentist also serves the local communities in Templestowe, Balwyn North, Doncaster, Doncaster Heights, Donvale, Mont Albert North, Box Hill, Box Hill North, Kerrimuir, Blackburn North, Forest Hill, Nunawading and Brentford Square.
$590 Teeth Whitening ZOOM in Chair Treatment
We are your trusted dental practice located at 1062 Doncaster Road in Doncaster East.