Is Sparkling Water Bad for Your Teeth?
Most of us are aware that drinking sugary beverages such as soft drinks and fruit juice are bad for our teeth and can cause decay, as well as a host of health problems for the rest of our body. It’s also well-known that the best thing for your teeth is water. However, drinking plain water can be a bit tedious, so many people opt for sparkling or carbonated water. However, can it really damage tooth enamel?
What is Sparkling Water?
Sparkling, or carbonated water, is pure water that’s been infused with carbon dioxide under pressure to create a fizzy drink much like soft drink, but without the flavour and sugar. Some sparkling waters also have salt and other minerals added them, so get into the habit of reading the ingredients on the label.
The PH Balance
When it comes to dental health, it’s the pH balance of sparkling water that’s been a cause for concern. Regular water is neutral with a pH of 7, and the lower the pH, the more acidic the drink. Soft drinks and fruit juice have a pH of approximately 2- 4 depending on the type. Your teeth will start to demineralise – that is the minerals in our teeth start to dissolve – when we drink anything with a pH level of 5.5 or less. Therefore, it’s best to drink liquids with a pH of 6 or higher.
However, our saliva can vary in its pH balance from person to person and usually has a pH of 5.5-6.5. If you have saliva with a lower pH level your teeth can withstand higher acid levels before they start to demineralise.
Keep in mind that many sparkling waters have additives that give them nice fruity flavours, but also lower the pH balance and make them acidic. Carbonating plain water also lowers its pH level to around 5, so you can see why there’s been some concern about it.
Another factor that affects pH levels of sparkling water is the temperature. Most people enjoy a cold bottle of sparkling water which has a pH of around 4.5, but when left to reach room temperature, the pH rises to a safer level of approximately 5.5 depending on the actual temperature.
Better than Many Others
Although sparkling water is a little more acidic than plain water, it’s certainly a better alternative to drinking sugary soft drinks and fruit juice. The best thing to drink for your teeth and your overall health is plain water, but if you must have something carbonated, sparkling water shouldn’t cause any damage if you drink it in moderation.
Dental Care – West Auckland
At Titirangi Dental, we provide caring, professional dental services for the whole family using the latest in dental equipment and technology. We’re dedicated to helping you maintain and improve your smile with a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry.