Right from the start, we are all told of things that are bad for us. Smoking causes cancer. Drinking alcoholic beverages can damage the liver. And sugar is the ultimate evil. Not only it’s the major culprit for diabetes, but it is also known to cause tooth decay.
So, while our overall health is a concern, preventing tooth decay is too. So, one of the most common questions that come up, especially from those who love sodas – is carbonated water bad for teeth?
Carbonated water comes in many forms. It could be the plain sparkling water, syrup-laced sodas, or colas. However, whether it’s something you bought from the store or something you made at home, the question remains – is it bad for your teeth? How harmful soda is to our body and our teeth? It still contains high quantities of sugar, so it can still cause tooth decay. But what about sparkling water? Is sparkling water bad for your teeth?
Misconception #1: Carbonated beverage can eat away the jawbone.
Not true. Carbonated water cannot destroy the bone density and the quality of your bones. And yes, including your jawbone.
A 2006 study was done and showed that those who consumed carbonated beverages did not present a significant change in their bone density. So, if you love sparkling water – yep, you’re not in danger. Hurray!
However, the study also shows that drinking soda or pop can have an effect on the levels of calcium in the body, over time. This is because most colas contain phosphorus and phosphorus can lead to a significant decrease in calcium, which of course is horrible for your teeth.
So, while we think that sugar is the problem, think again. It can actually be a combination of phosphorus and sugar that makes soda a lousy choice for anyone’s diet.
Okay, so this is excellent news for our jawbone and bone density in general. But, what about the actual tooth? Is carbonated water bad for your teeth?
Misconception #2: Carbon dioxide can cause tooth decay.
It has been studied for years the effect of carbonated water in our teeth, whether carbonated water is bad for you. And the consensus is – NO, carbonation will not harm our teeth. BUT, if there is an added citric acid or sugar in the drink, it will.
A study performed in 2009 showed that the combined ingredients found in most dark sodas can cause significant wear to the tooth enamel. While sparkling waters are just fine on its own – without sugar and citric acid – once these elements are introduced, they can be harmful to the teeth’s condition.
One of the biggest misconceptions about carbonated beverages is that carbon dioxide is a contributing force towards tooth decay. The gas that makes the water bubbly is not the harmful feature here. The acid is what destroy teeth and can lead to tooth decay. Since most beverages contain citric acid or sugar, that what makes them a poor choice. So, if you like to keep your teeth in excellent condition and free from decay, you know what to do.
Misconception #3: Use straws to limit the exposure of your teeth from the drink.
Another idea people have is to drink carbonated beverages through straws. The thought here is to limit the exposure of the teeth from the direct contact of the drink.
You can see examples of this on movies and television shows all the time. On the hit show Weeds, Mary-Louise Parker’s character, Nancy Botwin, would drink her diet coke through a straw. But why? Does this help to protect the condition of the teeth? Is it an effective method of reducing stains caused by darker sodas?
These are the two major reasons why people use straws when sipping on carbonated beverages. However, it hasn’t exactly been shown to be effective. No matter how you drink it, whether straight from the can, a cup, or through a straw, some of the carbonate citric acid and sugar will still touch your teeth.
What if you can’t or don’t want to give up your sparkling water or soda? Is there anything you can do to limit the effect it can have on your teeth?
Misconception #4: Brush your teeth right after drinking soda.
Contrary to popular belief, brushing after drinking a carbonated beverage is not the answer. This can do more harm than good. Rinsing with water, a quick gargle can remove the remaining traces of citric acid and sugar that may have been left behind. The upside of drinking or rinsing with water after carbonated water is you will feel more hydrated too.
If you feel the need to brush your teeth after having a meal, wait at least an hour to do so.
Do your teeth hurt after drinking carbonated water or soda? It could be that your teeth have already suffered enamel loss due to the acidity of the water.
So, how to reduce tooth pain? You can’t replace enamel once it has been eroded, but you can prevent further damage by practicing good habits. Avoiding sugary drinks like soda, tea, or coffee can be the best solution possible for maintaining optimal oral health.
Other Tips to Follow for A Healthy Teeth and Gums
Maintaining healthy teeth is important for so many reasons. Not only they play a vital role in how we eat and speak, our teeth are also a source of confidence.
When you smile, you want to be able to show off your smile proudly. Preventing tooth decay and stains can be done quickly if you follow a few of these following tips.
Always Visit the Dentist Every 6-Months
Of all the ways you can keep your teeth healthy, seeing your dentist for cleanings and exams every six months is crucial. Dental cleaning helps eliminate the built of tartar, identify weak points, and keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. Even if you are only able to get to the dentist yearly, this is still better than not going. Your dentist can look for signs of decay, fix areas that have cavities, and more. If your teeth are in good condition, they are better able to handle the acidic drinks and foods you consume.
Not only is smoking bad for your overall health, but it is also harmful to your teeth. Smokers are more likely to get oral cancer, tooth decay, and discolorations. If you’re currently a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Limit Coffee Drinking
For most adults, this is the beverage of choice to start their day – coffee. That morning dose of caffeine. This is a hard one to give up, or even limit. If you’ve lived on coffee for many years, it can feel like a challenge to say no too. But coffee is one of the leading causes of stained teeth. If you are an avid sugar and cream person, you are also adding unnecessary calories into your diet along with increasing the risk for tooth decay. Switching to an alternative beverage could be best or limiting how much coffee you drink would also be an excellent idea.
If you are an avid wine drinker, you may find your teeth stain over time. Also, since wine contains a great deal of phosphorous, sugar, and citric acid – which are harmful to the tooth enamel – wine can be therefore bad for your teeth.
Staining and damaged enamel, you may have to visit your dentist for professional dental care including remove teeth stain, teeth whitening, and probably use veneers.