Is Sparkling Water Bad for Your Teeth?

Sparkling water is a great drink if you are looking for a way to cut out sugary soda. You lose the sugar but keep the bubbles. However, there is the persistent rumor that, while it lacks the sugar of soda, it’s just as bad for tooth enamel. Today, we’re taking a look at the health facts of sparkling water to find out the truth.

The first thing we need to note, right out of the gate, is that not all sparkling waters are the same. Some are sweetened with unspecified “natural flavors” or even high fructose corn syrup. When you want to make a healthy switch, read the label, be sure you aren’t trading soda for just a different soda.

One person on our team wanted to give up a heavy soda habit. She switched to flavored sugar-free sparkling waters, then mixed in unflavored sparkling waters and now drinks mostly flat water. It can be a great stepping stone to cutting out an addiction! Even if you just want to take the first step and aren’t looking to give up flavored drinks, they can be a positive step for health in terms of nutrition.

But what about the claim that sparkling water causes tooth enamel erosion? Drinks with a low pH can damage teeth. Water is a neutral seven. Coca-Cola has a 2.37 pH, while the sparkling waters Perrier and S. Pellegrino have 5.25 pH and 4.96 pH, respectively. Orange juice has between 3.3 and 4.15 pH. So, while sparkling water isn’t as great as plain water, the statement that it is just as damaging as soda or juice is incorrect.

Flavored sparkling waters may be more acidic; it depends on what they are flavored with. But, they aren’t comparable to soda or juice. The American Dental Association states that sparkling water poses no danger to teeth. But, the ADA reminds people that if you add slices of lemon or lime to your drink, that does increase acidity. You can safely drink as much sparkling water as you like; just be mindful of how much acid you’re adding through your garnish!     

We have heard other weird rumors about sparkling water. One was that it releases the hunger hormone ghrelin into the body. That rumor comes from one rat study, and the results were never replicated, so we think it’s safe to call it busted! Sparkling water will quench your thirst; it won’t make you hungry.

In a summer that is shaping up to be as hot as this one, we want to have as many drink options as possible. But, we always want to be sure we’re making the healthiest choices. You can rest assured, your teeth are safe if you pick a glass of bubbly water!

Banner image: Karim Ghantous via Unsplash
July 22, 2021
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