Sorry, La Croix fanatics and flavored sparkling water fans, we hate to burst your bubble — but drinking too much of the bubbly stuff can do serious damage to your teeth.
Yes, this news is especially hard to swallow if you're one of the many people who have switched from sugary sodas with numerous additives to sparkling waters specifically to make a healthier eating choices. If you're hooked on the newest flavors, like kiwi-strawberry or grapefruit, you're not alone.
We're always on the hunt for the healthiest alternatives to the foods we love, thanks to our popular show Now Eat This!.
In the show, chef Rocco DiSpirito
reinvents classic dishes as healthier low-fat, high-nutrition versions that still taste delicious. Turns out, sparkling water is an excellent alternative to soda...but only if it's flavor-free. Learn more about Now Eat This! here and find out where you can tune in.
Also on Z Living: Turns Out Sugary Soda Is Unhealthy For Your Brain, Too
Here's Why Dentists Warn Against Sparkling Water:
The trouble with most commericially available sparkling water is that their added flavor profiles — mostly citric fruits and other fruit acids — can cause tooth erosion. The more acidic a drink is, the more harmful it can be to your teeth. To a dentist, anything with a pH less than 4 is considered a threat to your overall dental health, and the lower the pH level, the more potential it has to erode your teeth. Tap water's pH hovers between 6 and 8, in contrast, a 2016 report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association
found that un-carbonated flavored waters such as grape, lemon or strawberry Dasani had a pH of 3.
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Carbonation + Acidic Flavors Can Worsen The Issue.
When you add carbonation to flavored water — aka, introducing in carbolic acid — you get a double dose of acidity. Regular unflavored carbonated water has a pH level of about 5, which is will make your dentist happy, but add lemon or lime flavoring to that and that pH drops considerably.
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What's A Sparkling Water-Lover To Do?
Remember, flavored sparkling water isn't necessarily bad for your overall health, it's just potentially bad for your teeth. That said, try these tips to keep your pearly whites looking their best when you indulge in that refreshing can of lemon La Croix or lime Pelligrino:
Don't use flavored sparkling water as your primary source of hydration.
Sip regular ol' water or unflavored carbonated water to stay hydrated, and save the flavored bubbly stuff for an occasional treat.
Drink up, and be done with it — don't sip slowly.
The faster you drink a beverage, the less contact it has with your teeth!
Don't swish your drink around in your mouth.
This can increase the contract the water has with your teeth, worsening the issue.
Eat a meal or snack with your drink.
Eating stimulates the flow of saliva, which neutrals acids in your mouth, and can dilute the drink's effect on your teeth.