SOUTH WEYMOUTH, MA…
Dentists are in complete agreement that sparkling water/seltzer water is far better for you than traditional soda or soda water (which typically has sugar in it). But if you’re thinking you have found a soda substitute you can drink to heart’s content without repercussions, you may want to think again.
With no sugar, why would this beverage pose any issues? There are a few authorities that feel that because carbonated water gets its fizz from carbon dioxide it creates a chemical reaction in your mouth and converts the CO2 to carbonic acid. As all dentists will tell you, increased levels of acidity can lead to premature wear of tooth enamel and create dental erosive lesions.
“The increased level of acidity can certainly be a contributing factor to lost enamel. So can a number of other things, such as bruxism (grinding from a stressful life – which everybody has) and undiagnosed or subclinical gastric reflux—another problem many of my patients may have without even knowing it,” said Dr. Richard Wolfert, DMD, whose practice, The Toothboss, is located at 1121 Main Street in South Weymouth.
Compounding the sparkling water dilemma is how people drink their beverages. If you tend to sip and swish the carbonated water around in your mouth before swallowing and you’re doing that multiple times per day, you can increase the risk of tooth wear. Even more so if you enjoy lemon, lime or another highly acidic fruit as a flavor enhancer as this will increase the acidity of a drink.
On the other hand, sparkling water is far less acidic than fruit juices or a soft drink, but it’s more acidic than plain water.
So much for trying to be good, right?
“If you’re going to sip throughout the day, I would say stick with plain water,” said Dr. Gene Romo, a Chicago dentist and consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. “Water is the safest way to go.”
Adds Dr. Wolfert, “If you’re healthy and you have a normal salivary flow, you’re less vulnerable so your risk is low. Our body is set up to counterbalance any negative effects on the saliva to neutralize or buffer some of the consequences of acid but it’s better to be cautious.”
Continued Dr. Wolfert, “Obviously, tap water and bottled water is the safer way to go than any type of soda or carbonated drink. But if you occasionally want something a little different, sparkling water is fine. Just remember to drink your sparkling water rather than swish it around in your mouth. And, if you’re really concerned, rinse your mouth after with plain water.”
For more information on The Toothboss, you can visit Dr. Wolfert’s website at www.toothboss.com or call 781-335-0604 to schedule a consultation.