Is Sparkling Water Bad for Your Teeth?

Drinking sparkling water won’t harm your teeth if it’s plain.

The American Dental Association even gives it two thumbs up, thanks to a study that showed that tooth enamel reacted the same way to sparkling water as it did regular water. The reason is because sparkling water is just water with pressurized carbon dioxide added to it and nothing else.

The American Dental Association even gives it two thumbs up, thanks to a study that showed that tooth enamel reacted the same way to sparkling water as it did regular water.

As more and more people choose healthier drink alternatives, soft drinks such as Pepsi and Coke are falling out favor and choices like sparkling water are taking the top spot with people around the United States.

Americans are now drinking nearly 170 million gallons of the bubbly water every year, according to a report by NPR. Take one sip and you’ll understand why: It has all of fizziness of soda, without all the added sugar, calories and other chemicals that can damage your teeth.

With this has come a growing debate about the bubbles and your teeth with some people claiming that sparkling teeth is just as bad for your teeth as soda. We investigate these claims to find the truth about sparkling water.

Why Sparkling Water Has Raised Concerns

Sparkling water gets a bad rap because many brands sold in stores have flavors and other ingredients added to them. These flavors are often made with acids or sugar that can erode your tooth enamel over time and cause cavities and other dental problems.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking your favorite fruit-flavored sparkling water, but you should drink them in moderation. The American Dental Association also recommends drinking flavored sparkling water in one sitting — like at dinner — instead of sipping them throughout the deal. The reason: The decay-causing acids are washed away faster and don’t sit on your teeth like they would if you continually drank one throughout the day.

You can also experiment with adding natural flavors, like cucumbers and whole fruits, to your sparkling water to get the taste without the unwanted side effects of artificially flavored brands.

Can Sparkling Water Cause Other Health Problems?

While plain sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth, there’s some debate on whether it’s healthy for the rest of your body.

One 2017 study showed that sparkling water stimulated a hunger hormone in men, known as ghrelin, making them want to eat more. Eating more calories than you burn causes weight gain, so it’s thought that drinking sparkling water might make people gain more weight than they would have otherwise. Also, some companies add sugar and other ingredients to their sparkling water, which adds empty calories to your diet.

Sparkling water is also shown to cause bloating and gas, thanks to the carbonation. So it’s probably best to steer clear of it if you’re prone to upset stomach or conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The good news: Sparkling water won’t hurt your bones, contrary to some reports. A 2006 study found that sparkling water doesn’t affect bone density like regular colas can because it doesn’t contain phosphorus, which is shown to increase the loss of calcium in the body through the kidneys.

The Best Drink for Dental Health

It might not be as exciting as a can of fruit-flavored LaCroix, but plain water still ranks number one as the best drink for your chompers — especially if contains fluoride.

H2O with fluoride — called “nature’s cavity fighter” by the American Dental Association — is shown to help strengthen teeth and reduce decay. Need proof? All you have to do is look to our neighbors north of the border.

In 2011, the city of Calgary stopped adding fluoride to water. This inspired researchers to look into how the absence affected children’s dental health. Their findings, published in 2016 in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found that children who drank non-fluoridated water had more tooth decay than children living in another Canadian city, Edmonton, with access to fluoridated water.

Water — fluoridated or not — helps wash away the natural bacteria and food particles left behind when we eat, preventing decay and cavities. It also helps with saliva production and it’s calorie free, meaning you won’t gain weight from drinking it (only temporary water weight until you go to the bathroom!).

Water — whether plain or sparkling — is always the best choice for healthy teeth. So, drink up!

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips