Carbonated or sparkling water is a popular and refreshing drink that’s enjoyable any time of year. But can it have an undesirable impact on your teeth? The answer is yes and no. Carbonated water is more acidic than regular water, meaning, in theory, it will wear on your enamel. However, as Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar of BellaVista Dental Care points out, there is research on the topic, supported by the American Dental Association, showing the two forms of water are comparable when it comes to the impact on teeth. The study looked at whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than lab water. Researchers concluded the two forms of water had almost an identical effect on tooth enamel. However, there is a caveat to this, Bhatnagar says.
“While sparkling water doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on your teeth, you still need to be cognizant of what type of sparkling water you’re drinking,” she says. “Citrus-flavored sparkling water has much more of an acidic level in it than do regular sparkling waters, so these types, while flavorful, will certainly have more detrimental consequences on your teeth over the long run.”
If drinking flavored sparkling water, Bhatnagar suggests doing so sparingly. As with any drink that is acidic or sugary, it’s a wise move to follow up with a glass of regular water. This will help neutralize the pH levels in your mouth, reducing acidity levels, while also washing down buildup in the teeth. In some cases, sparkling waters add sugar as an ingredient, which aligns them more with a soda-type-drink than it does water. As such, when searching for sparkling water, it’s advised to find non-citrus flavors with no added sugar to ensure your enamel stays intact.