Your dental health is important, and many foods and drinks can place it at risk if you aren’t careful. While soda is well-known for contributing to formation of cavities, a common question is if soda water can damage your teeth. Should you be worried about a trip to the dentist if you’re a regular soda water drinker?
Continue reading to learn more about soda water, including if this drink is bad for your teeth.
What Is Soda Water?
Soda water has many names—sparkling water, club soda, seltzer water, and fizzy water. All of these different names mean the same thing, water is infused with carbon dioxide gas to make it carbonated.
This process creates a weak acid that stimulates your mouth, giving that fizzy, burning, or prickly sensation. With the similarities between soda water and regular soda, many people wonder if this beverage is unhealthy for your teeth.
Is Soda Water Bad for Your Teeth?
If you love the taste of soda water, are you putting your dental health at risk?
The answer is specific to the kind of carbonated water you enjoy. All carbonated drinks have a higher acidity level than water, but unflavoured sparkling water isn’t bad for your teeth.
Research has found soda water won’t damage your teeth. When researchers compared tooth enamel over time, their results uncovered that unflavoured soda water and regular water affected the teeth the same. Other research discovered that while carbonated drinks have the strong potential to damage your enamel, this is only possible if it contains sugar.
Maybe Avoid the Flavouring
While regular soda water won’t damage your teeth as much as other beverages, watch what flavours are in your drink. Citrus flavouring in carbonated drinks can increase your risk of enamel erosion, so try and finish it all in one sitting to avoid overexposure to your teeth.
It’s important to note that any “water” with added sugar isn’t water. It’s a sugar-sweetened drink that can lead to potential tooth decay with time.
Understand the Risks of Enamel Erosion
Your enamel is the outer shell of your teeth, protecting them when you chew, bite, and eat. Enamel is durable but vulnerable to damage, cracks, decay, or wear and tear (erosion).
You experience erosion on your teeth when acids wear them down, permanently removing enamel from your teeth and making them more susceptible to damage and decay.
With time, you may notice several signs of enamel erosion, including:
- Cracks & chips in your tooth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth discolouration
- Severe tooth sensitivity
- Indents on your teeth where enamel has been eroded away
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
There are several risks to your tooth enamel, whether it’s foods and drinks, medications, or medical conditions. You may not even be aware some of your favourite foods and drinks can affect your dental health and leave your teeth at risk of permanent enamel loss.
Some possible causes of enamel erosion include:
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
- Sour food & candy
- Dry mouth or decreased saliva
- Excess sugar or simple carbohydrates
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Medications like antihistamines, aspirin, & vitamin C
- Too much alcohol
What Foods & Drinks Can Put Your Oral Health At Risk?
It may take some diet changes to help protect your teeth from enamel erosion. It’s understandable if you don’t want to avoid these foods and drinks, but consider lowering the amount you consume or protecting your teeth.
Here are some foods and drinks that can lead to enamel erosion and some tips on how to avoid or change how you have them:
- Carbonated flavoured drinks: Replace soda or sparkling drinks with water, tea, or milk. You can also have these drinks in moderation & try not to swish them around your mouth. Drinking acidic beverages over a shorter period of time is better than slowly sipping on them throughout the day.
- Juice: Try having fruit juices with a meal to help reduce its acidity. Limiting juice intake can be beneficial as it contains a significant amount of sugar.
- Alcohol: Always drink alcohol responsibly & in moderation. Avoid adding lemons or limes, & consider having your drink with a meal to reduce the acidity.
- Fruit: Avoid having fruit as a snack, have them during meals. You can always choose bananas or plums over other options—they’re less acidic.
- Acidic dressings: Ketchup, vinegar, & lemon-based sauces can erode your enamel, so consider reducing the amount you use them.
How Can You Lower Your Risk of Enamel Erosion?
Enamel erosion can increase your risk of dental problems. However, you don’t need to worry about everything you eat, drink or do! Following some advice can help you protect your teeth and lower erosion risk.
Try some of the following tips for your dental health:
- Reduce the number of acidic foods & drinks you have
- Rinse your mouth after having acidic products
- Have a glass of milk or piece of cheese after finishing a meal
- Watch how much you snack throughout the day
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals
- Drink more water during the day
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush or soft-bristled brush
Help Protect Your Enamel from Unnecessary Damage
Caring for your teeth at home is essential for your dental health, but don’t forget about the role of your dentist. Regular dental visits help identify problems and get your teeth a detailed cleaning. Don’t ignore signs of enamel erosion—visit your dentist for help. Contact your dentist at Otara Dental if you experience symptoms of enamel erosion or if it’s time for an exam and cleaning.