Maybe you’re freaking out because you heard the six cases of sparkling stacked in your pantry are going to eff up your teeth. As a daily drinker of seltzer and flavored sparkling water, and a fanatic about the health of my teeth, I certainly was. So to find out the cold hard facts, I reached out to a pro for the exact details of these grapevine claims.
The bad news first? It's possible: Carbonated drinks can hurt your teeth. “Bubbles in sparkling water and seltzer are a product of carbon dioxide,” explains Celebrity Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Lana Rozenberg. "In the mouth, it is converted to carbonic acid, making the drink much more acidic in nature. That's where the danger comes in—acid in the drink can wear enamel and cause erosion of the teeth.”
The more you drink acidic drinks, the more enamel erosion you could potentially cause.
But how much is too much? You might not need to cut the bubbles cold turkey—Dr. Rozenberg says it all depends on the person. "If you are sipping the drink and swishing it around in your mouth and keeping it in contact with the teeth and you do this often, multiple times a day, that's a dangerous behavior,” she says.
"If you are healthy and have a normal salivary flow, then the risks are lower—you can drink a bit more.”
She explains that your saliva can counterbalance and neutralize the acids within the drink. So if you tend to have a dry mouth, you should execute caution. "It's always better to drink sparkling water with meals because you are stimulating salivary flow.”
At the end of the day, your love for sparkling water shouldn’t take the place of regular water. However, also note that sparkling water or seltzer water isn’t the worse thing for your teeth either. When compared to soda, it is less acidic and has less sugar, which we all know is a substance that also contributes to tooth decay.
Like many other things in life, it looks like your love of bubbles needs to be treated as a balancing act.