Seltzer Water and Oral Health

With all the negative press that soda has been getting, many people are trying to cut their consumption and have found a healthy alternative in seltzer water. With all the flavor and fizz as a Coke, but without all the sugar and calories, it must be a great swap, right? An Atlanta-based writer, Olga Khazan, recently embarked on a journey to discover if her 12-can-a-day La Croix habit was acceptable.  While one may believe that  sparkling water, which is calorie-free, sugar-free and sodium-free, is completely harmless,  it turns out that it can actually cause significant damage to your oral health.

After speaking to professor of dentistry, Damien Walmsley, Khazan discovered that fizzy water, which contains carbonic acid, can actually wear down tooth enamel when consumed regularly. The acid level in plain seltzer is fairly weak, especially in comparison to other beverages, like orange juice and colas. But flavored seltzers, the most popular kinds, are a different story. According to a recent article from the Huffington Post, a team of researchers at the University of Birmingham tested the acidity of flavored soda waters and found them to be as acidic, if not more than orange juice and some colas. That’s not good news for the health conscious consumer who cares about their oral health.

If you’re a fan of seltzer water, but you also like your teeth, it’s recommended to limit consumption and follow a good oral hygiene routine. Be sure to brush correctly twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular exams and professional cleanings. When asked, Walmsley said, “My advice is to keep acidic drinks to meal times, and if you have to sip drinks between meals, then plain water is the safest.” Sorry to burst your bubble(s).

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