Do you always opt for sparkling water over still? If so, you’re not alone! Many of us are addicted to sparkling water and love the refreshing fizz. And flavoured sparkling water – even better!
While this might be better for your waistline than a can of soda or sweetened fruit juice, a study published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry found that it’s not such a healthy choice for your teeth.
After placing teeth in flavoured sparkling water for 30 minutes, researchers found that the teeth eroded just as quickly as they would in a glass of orange juice. This is because sparkling water, especially the flavoured kind, contains carbonic acid to give it that fizz. But carbonic acid is also highly acidic and should be consumed in moderation.
A dentist’s view on flavoured sparkling water
In an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail, cosmetic dentist Dr Adam Thorne said, ‘Most people have no idea that fizzy water is extremely acidic. It’s pH3 on the acidity scale.’ In comparison, bottled still water is usually between a 6.9 and 7.5 which is close to neutral. ‘This means that the bubbles erode your tooth enamel – and over time this causes painful, yellow cracked teeth,’ said Dr Adam Thorne. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, you don’t need to rush to the dentist for a check-up if you are addicted to sparkling water. Just stick to the unflavoured kind! Here’s why…
Why you should swap to plain sparkling water
Simply can’t give up the fizz? Here’s the lowdown on the good news. Dentists agree that plain sparkling water is healthier than flavoured waters and sweetened fizzy drinks. Although plain, still water still tops the charts as the healthiest drink you can consume.
Edmond R. Hewlett a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, explained that it is the flavouring of most common fizzy drinks that increases the acidity of them. Therefore simple sparkling water shouldn’t be a danger to your tooth enamel.
‘Laboratory studies have shown that (unflavoured) waters, be they still or sparkling, have very low erosive potential and do not pose a risk to tooth enamel,” he says. Just make sure that you stick to the plain bubbles when you can’t shake being addicted to sparkling water. An extra tip is to avoid club soda. Not usually considered, club soda contains sodium and tonic water which has a large amount of added sweeteners.
If you’re bored with plain water, dress yours up with:
- Fresh, chopped fruit such as strawberries and grapes
- Slices of citrus including grapefruit, orange and lemon
- Fresh, chopped herbs including mint and basil
- Green tea or other naturally flavoured teas for a refreshing ice tea, without the added sugars
Looking for something sweeter? You can always add a touch of vanilla essence, organic maple syrup, or a touch of Agave Nectar or Xylitol Syrup to your water (both readily available from Dis-Chem).
DISCLAIMER: You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your healthcare professional.