Is replacing soda with other carbonated beverages a healthier choice? Read on to find out!
So, you’ve just got braces and think you’re making a smart choice by swapping out soda for sparkling water. However, is carbonated water necessarily a healthier choice? The answer is yes and no.
Rumors flourish, claiming that carbonated beverages can pull calcium out of your bones and teeth and that the carbonation bubbles can weaken your tooth enamel. While there is truth to these claims, it’s not the carbonation that is to blame, it’s the phosphoric acid.
There are other ingredients that are often in sparkling waters that can cause damage to your teeth. Sugar, artificial sweeteners or flavors, and high acidic ingredients can all harm your oral health. Fizzy waters can be perfectly healthy, if you pick the right one.
Plain, carbonated water poses no threat to your bones and teeth. Some sparkling water is even found naturally in some springs. Carbonated water is just as hydrating to the body as still water. It can also be a nice break from plain water and a smart replacement for soda.
Here are some tips to help you choose a healthier fizzy water:
- Limit or avoid waters that are flavored with citrus because they can have a higher level of acidity. Citrus is naturally high in acid and even waters with natural flavors or extracts can cause enamel erosion over time.
- Seltzer water, club soda, and soda water are all carbonated waters. They may be enhanced with minerals to mimic the flavor of naturally occurring sparkling water and usually don’t have any added sugar.
- Tonic water often contains sweeteners and other flavorings. It is sometimes referred to as a carbonated soft drink because of the added sugar.
- Flavored sparkling waters may have natural or artificial flavors and added sugar or sweeteners.
Of course, plain, fluoridated water is still the healthiest choice not only for your teeth but for your body’s overall health and hydration. Although sometimes, you just want a little something with flavor. If you’re going to indulge, drink your carbonated water with a straw to limit the amount of flavoring or sweetener that your teeth bathe in.
When in doubt, read the label and look up any ingredients you can’t pronounce. During your adjustments we can help identify early evidence of erosion. Although, don’t forget to keep up on your regularly scheduled cleanings and exams with your dentist as they can find the earliest evidence of enamel erosion, which is increased when wearing braces.