Is carbonated water bad for teeth?

Carbonated water can be a healthy alternative to sugary, fizzy drinks or hot beverages such as tea or coffee. But is it really that good for your oral health?

Any drink with carbonation such as carbonated water has a higher acid level compared to still drinks. 

Some people wonder whether or not sparkling and carbonated water can weaken your tooth enamelHard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth., which can lead to tooth decay.

How can carbonated water affect your teeth?

All your teeth have a coating of enamel. Enamel is a hard calcified tissue which covers the dentinThe part of the tooth that is beneath the enamel and cementum. of the crownSimple crown procedure utilizing a porcelain crown fused to non-precious metal and not involving complicated prep. of the tooth, and is composed of hydroxyapatite - this slowly dissolves when exposed to water. 

The dissolving process is called demineralisation, and when dissolving, calcium, phosphate, and hydroxyl ions are produced. If you drink a liquid that doesn’t contain these three minerals, it will cause your teeth to gradually release enamel to fill in the missing ingredients. 

Demineralisation and the extensive erosionWearing down of tooth structure, caused by chemicals (acids). of your enamel can lead to serious issues such as tooth decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.

So which drinks can cause demineralisation?

Drinks with high acidity levels such as juices, hot drinks, and fizzy drinks like Cola are all significantly more harmful to your teeth due to the high acidity levels.

Carbonated, sparkling, or fizzy water are much better options for drinking because they’re less acidic. 

As a general rule, the lower the pH of a drink, the more damage it will do in the long term. 

Sparkling tonic water and club sodas can, however, contain additives such as sugar, citrates, or potassium bicarbonate, which can affect the acidity of the drink.

Tips for protecting your teeth

Here are some tips for making sure that your teeth and your enamel are protected in the long run, so that you’re less likely to develop any oral conditions. 

  • Instead of drinking fizzy drinks, drink carbonated water instead. 
  • Also, ensure that you drink plenty of still water, still water contains fluoride, which helps to wash away plaqueA soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives..
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after finishing your food or drink to clean your teeth.
  • Avoid bad habits for your teeth such as chewing your nails or ice.
  • Eat healthy foods which are low in fat and sugar
  • Get regular 3-month check-ups with your dentist.