At the beach or barbecues this Summer, you'll likely find millennials and moms alike sipping on their LaCroix or Spindrift. These sparkling waters are refreshing while also providing extra carbonation that leaves you feeling satisfied. Plus, drinking sparkling water can scratch your soda itch without the extra calories. But have you ever wondered what those bubbles are doing to your teeth?
To get to the bottom of the real effects of bubbly, we talked to Dr. Jessica Hilburg, associate dean for clinical affairs at NYU College of Dentistry. "Carbonated water without any added flavor is slightly acidic (pH lower than seven, which is neutral) and can be minimally erosive to the teeth," Hilburg said. Hilburg also stressed that the effects of sparkling water on your teeth become more severe if you stray from plain bubbles. "Added flavors or artificial sweetener can further decrease the pH and increase the acidity and therefore can be more erosive," she said.
Overall, Hilburg urges us to keep it simple. "The healthiest beverage anyone can choose to drink is plain water that is fluoridated. That's because it is neutral, not acidic (pH below seven) or basic (pH above seven), and will not erode your teeth," she said. "The next best choice is carbonated water with no added flavor or artificial sweeteners." If you find yourself reaching for too many sparkling waters per day, try to swap one or two of them for a plain water. This way your body will stay hydrated and your teeth won't suffer from the possible erosive effects of carbonated water.