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Sparkling Water: Friend or Foe?

It seems flavored sparkling water varieties are becoming more and more popular. We like them because many are touted as having zero calories, zero sugar, and many with no artificial flavoring—yet, they taste great! The best part: the bubbles! We love the fizz, even more when served ice cold.

While flavored sparkling water may sound like a drink made in heaven, there is one major potential drawback: Any kind of sparkling water, flavored or not, can wreak havoc on your smile!

Why? Well the answer is simple. We all know soda is acidic. This acidity comes from carbonic acid, which is an unavoidable byproduct of the carbon dioxide used to give soda its carbonation. This process is no different for sparkling water.

But do not despair, here are some tips on how you can enjoy your bubbly H2O and still keep your teeth.

  1. Drink it, don’t sip it. For 30 minutes since taking your last drink, your mouth remains acidic and precious enamel is breaking down. So, if you take small sips from even a single can, your oral environment could remain acidic all day.
  2. Chase it with regular water after you are done.
  3. Avoid the common habit of “swishing” your carbonated drinks. Some people like the way the bubbles feel, but trust me, your teeth do not like it one bit.
  4. Do not brush your teeth within 30 minutes of drinking a carbonated beverage. Recall from above: acidic environment. I once used a brush and acid to remove a rust stain in my driveway. Let’s not brush our teeth with acid.
  5. Consider watering-down your sparkling water with 1 part regular water, 2 parts sparkling water. You may be surprised to see, it still bubbles and has great flavor, but with reduced acidity.
  6. As always, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and regular visits to your dentist.

Dr. Brandon Ryff

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