Just a Little Carbonation
Sparkling waters in all their brands and flavors seem to be flooding our homes. As a market, it’s showing continual expansion in sales. As a society, we seem to be embracing it wholeheartedly. It appears to us a somewhat less boring version of soda that, nonetheless, has the key elements of flavor and carbonation, and most importantly of all, has no negative health effects. While studies do indicate there are no adverse health consequences to the ingestion of these tantalizing beverages, it is an unfortunate truth that they can still be quite dangerous for our teeth, despite their lack of sugar content. It all boils down to the PH level of the beverage in question. Come over to Tulsa Modern Dental for a Tulsa teeth cleaning and ask the dentist what they drink!
Why Things Hurt Our Teeth
The whole reason that sugar is bad for our teeth is because of the bacteria that it feeds, and the reason those bacteria are harmful for our teeth is because they produce a waste product that has an acidic PH level which eats away at the enamel of our teeth. So, in a much more direct manner than sugar, carbonated, sugarless, beverages can do the same damage; they just cut out the middleman. It won’t be feeding those bacteria, but it will still strip your enamel.
This isn’t to say that they aren’t a positive alternative to traditional soda, only that they aren’t a sound replacement for water and that they do have the potential to harm our teeth. Limiting the amount that you drink or using a straw to keep the beverage off your teeth can help to ameliorate these risks.
What the Mouth Wants
Healthy mouths have saliva with a PH range of 5.6 to 7.9. This being the case, dentists consider beverages with a PH level in that range to be safe for our teeth. The process of carbonation creates carbonic acid with the drink and results in the liquid gaining a ph of around 3-4. While this certainly isn’t acidic enough to compete with your stomach, it is potent enough to cause some enamel erosion if your teeth are subjected to it for long enough and frequently enough.
Not so Bad, Really
In the end, though, our teeth and our bodies are going to suffer wear, and so we, as a species, have learned a lot about compromise. In the case of sparkling waters that may be drinking plain water after finishing the carbonated beverage, to get that oral ph back to normal. It may be merely drinking less of your favorite carbonated water. Either way, the point is that while sparkling water isn’t the magical solution that so many of us wanted it to be, it really isn’t all that bad. And what bad it does have is relatively easy to deal with.
Don’t give up on real water, brush your teeth twice daily with an ADA approved toothpaste, and make sure to get your twice-yearly Tulsa teeth cleaning. Do these things, and your teeth will forgive you a lot. Schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment today!