Ask your Waterdown Family Dentist: Is Sparkling Water Bad for My Teeth? Short answer is yes…a little. All carbonated beverages are acidic, and acid can eat away at your tooth enamel. The longer answer, however, is that pure sparkling water is no worse – and in many cases better – than other foods or beverages we consume regularly like sugary pop, tomatoes, or citrus fruits.

As a Waterdown family dentist, Dr. Aaron Langdon sometimes gets asked questions about whether certain foods or beverages are good for your teeth. If you’re interested in how everyday foods can improve your oral health, check out our blogs Favourite Fall Foods that are Good for Your Teeth and Foods That Benefit Your Oral Health

What’s Up with Sparkling Water?

Today we’re going to talk about sparkling water. Many patients have turned to sparkling water as an alternative to sugary beverages like juice and pop. Sparkling water has a little more zing than regular tap water, and if you choose a sugar-free flavoured sparkling water, you can enjoy a delicious taste as well!

With home carbonation alternatives like Soda Stream so popular, many are making their own sparkling water at home.

As sparkling water increased in popularity, you may have started to see studies or news articles saying that sparkling water is bad for your teeth. What’s that all about?

The Carbonation Process Makes Water More Acidic

Carbonated water is created by adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to water. The carbonation process not only adds tingly bubbles, it gives the water a different flavor than still water. Sparkling water has a “bite” that many people love.

But as the carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it reacts with it to form carbonic acid.

So yes, sparkling water is acidic. And acid breaks down the enamel on your teeth. Adding in an acidic flavor like lemon can increase acid levels.

But as the American Dental Association points out, the acid levels in sparkling water are fairly low. Sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth, and much better than sugary drinks.

How Much Acid is in Sparkling Water?

The amount of acid in sparkling water varies from product to product. We found a study from McGill University that provides great insight, especially because it’s testing water brands available in Canada.

On the pH scale, 7 (tap water) is considered neutral, and 0 (battery acid) is highly acidic. In the McGill study, most cold sparkling waters that were tested had a pH balance between 4 and 5, with a few outliers. That’s about the same as a fresh tomato, and much less acidic than lemon.

In comparison, coffee comes in at about 4.85 – 5.10 – the same or better than sparkling water, and red wine has a pH of around 3.5 – 3.8 – far more acidic than sparkling water!

An interesting point in the McGill study, however, was that cold sparkling waters were more acidic than room temperature. While most prefer a cold beverage, if you’re worried about acid, drinking your sparkling water at room temperature could be better for your teeth.

Should I Drink Sparkling Water?

Of course! If you enjoy sparkling water, you should drink it. Just remember, moderation is always best.

Here’s a few facts:

  • Sparkling water is better for your teeth than many other beverages, and significantly better than sugary drinks.
  • Sparkling water with sugar is just as bad for you as any other sugary beverage, so avoid those.
  • Drinking regular, uncarbonated, fluoridated water is the best choice for your teeth. It helps fight cavities and wash away acids and leftover foods.
  • Brushing and flossing daily and regular visits to your Waterdown family dentist can help keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime!

Book an Appointment with Your Waterdown Family Dentist Today!

If it’s time for a checkup, book your appointment with Dr. Langdon, your Waterdown family dentist today. You can book online, or call our offices at 905-689-9551.

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Resources:

American Dental Association: Is Sparkling Water Bad for My Teeth?
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth

McGill University: Is Carbonated Water Bad for Your Teeth?
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-and-nutrition-quackery/carbonated-water-bad-your-teeth

SodaStream: How Is Water Carbonated? Everything You Need to Know
https://sodastream.com/blogs/sodastreams-sparkling-blog/how-is-water-carbonated