While we know that drinking water is the best plan for our body, it does get boring; especially with the myriad of drink choices out there.
It is known for a fact that frequent drinking of sweet fizzy sodas will be detrimental to one’s health. The high sugar content and acidity of carbonisation to create the soda’s fizz, will eventually lead to teeth erosion. Despite this, not many can give up on that ice cold, gassy sensation; especially during a hot and humid day. If you’ve seen videos of how some people use cola as an alternative to clean their kitchen sink and toilets, then chances are that it will be a safer option not to down that into your gut.
This brings us to our topic, what about the less sweetened carbonated water? Would carbonated water be a safer option and will it hurt your teeth? Let’s find out more:
What is carbonated water?
More commonly known as sparkling water or soda water, carbonated water is simply water infused with carbon dioxide to recreate that fizzy sensation as though you were drinking sodas.
With a pH level of between 4 to 6, where water is neutral at level 7 and soft drinks hovering up to 2.5, sparkling water is considered mildly acidic to flavoured soft drinks. According to this study was made in a controlled environment, the effect of teeth erosion by carbonated water in comparison to soft drinks is a hundred times less likely.
If you have just finished a bowl of highly acidic food such as a citrusy fruit bowl or your favourite spicy laksa, then the environment in the mouth is compromised to be of acidic nature; what do you think would happen if you couple that up with another acidic drink?
The same can be said for a carbonated drink which is flavoured. Any sparkling water with an added content of citric acid, flavours or sugar, will change the drink to one of more acidic nature and can possibly contribute to the erosion of enamel.
What exactly happens to our teeth?
Our teeth enamel is made of a mineral known as hydroxyapatite that contains calcium and phosphate. The same mineral is also found in our saliva aside to water content. The environment in on our teeth and saliva usually have a pH of 6 and 7, when it meets with acidic food and beverages, calcium and phosphate molecules move out of the teeth and into saliva which is known as demineralisation. Demineralisation creates tiny holes on our enamels and causes our tooth to break down and dissolve; if left without care, the tooth tissue will be lost and non-reclaimable.
What can we do to prevent demineralisation of our teeth?
Apart from avoiding sugary drinks, plague control helps to prevent demineralisation teeth. Some good oral hygiene practices for plague control include regular flossing, using an electric toothbrush, and timely dental check ups. The removal of plaque impedes the demineralisation and reversely increases opportunities for remineralisation.
While there is no concrete evidence that states the total effect carbonated water has on our teeth, we’d recommend to opt for non-flavoured sparkling water to satisfy those soft drinks cravings. Another hack will be to drink via your eco-friendly straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth. When it comes to choosing beverages, water is always the preferred choice.