July 6, 2018
When we’re told we shouldn’t be consuming certain foods or drinks, such as soda, we begin to reach for alternatives. While seeing the number zero next to everything on the nutritional label can be a relief, it doesn’t mean that you’re completely safe. According to a dentist in Phillipsburg, carbonation is worth rethinking if you want to maintain the best oral health possible.
Today, you’ll learn how carbonation affects enamel and how to consume it responsibly.
Is Seltzer Safer to Drink Than Soda?
In order to make seltzer, manufacturers add pressurized carbon dioxide to plain water. This creates the effervescence that makes seltzer so enjoyable to drink. Assuming the seltzer you’re drinking isn’t flavored or containing any added sugars, it is much safer to drink than soda of any kind. Typically, soda contains large amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, making it addictive and extremely dangerous for your oral health.
Even next to diet soda, seltzer is always the better choice. Diet soda may not contain natural sugar, but it’s sugar substitutes can still damage enamel. Furthermore, the acidic properties of diet soda don’t disappear just because the word “diet” was placed in front of the name.
For these reasons, seltzer water is by far a better alternative to drinking soda. However, there is a catch to take note of when consuming.
Is it As Good as Water?
As mentioned, seltzer is pressurized with carbon dioxide to make it fizzy, but by doing this it also effectively makes it more acidic than plain water. Acidity, whether it’s from the foods you eat or the beverages you drink, damages tooth enamel.
While seltzer typically contains no added sugar, no sugar substitutes, zero calories, and markets itself as a guilt-free beverage, the presence of bubbles doesn’t mean it can replace water. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy it while still minimizing tooth enamel damage.
How Do I Consume Seltzer Responsibly?
Like all acidic drinks, seltzer should be enjoyed in small intervals, not consistently consumed over several hours. This constant exposure is enough to damage enamel significantly if practiced for weeks or months at a time. The more you consume seltzer, the longer the acidic compounds will sit on and break down teeth.
Instead of nursing a drink for hours at a time or having many seltzer drinks in a row, drink seltzer in five- to 10-minute bursts. This will allow your teeth enough time to remineralize with available saliva. You can also minimize exposure by drinking seltzer through a straw rather than sipping from a glass.
Furthermore, don’t brush your teeth until about 20 minutes after you’ve consumed an acidic beverage. Since your enamel is softer after drinking seltzer, your teeth needs time to reform. You’ll only remove enamel if you brush immediately after.
Looking for ways to make your water more interesting but still safe for teeth? Schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino works with whole families to get their oral health on the right track. This means showing them the best way to practice at-home care, providing thorough preventive care, and giving advice on building the most teeth-friendly diet. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.
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