Is Carbonated Water Bad for Your Teeth? (+Tips to Protect)

Want to have movie-star quality teeth? Worried that carbonated water might be damaging your pearly whites? 

Well, you’re in luck! This helpful guide has everything you need to know about carbonated water and the health of your teeth. 

In short, the answer is yes – excessive consumption of carbonated beverages could cause the erosion of enamel and the general weakening of teeth. 

But don’t worry! There are multiple alternatives and methods to prevent or recover from what sparkling water could be doing to your oral health.

Take Boka’s non-toxic and dentist-approved toothpaste for example. It has been proven by researchers to reduce sensitivity and remineralize teeth, all while whitening your precious chompers too.

So, if you want to maintain a healthy smile but are sick of what seltzer water could be doing to your fangs: read on! This helpful article will provide all the information you need to know about whether carbonated water is bad for your teeth.

Specifically, this guide will cover:

  • How carbonated water affects your teeth
  • Tips for reducing the impact of carbonated water on your teeth.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in!

How Does Carbonated Water Affect Your Teeth?

Carbonated water can affect your teeth in many ways. If used frequently, it can have serious effects on your overall oral health and hygiene:

Erosion

Carbonated water is a known cause of enamel erosion. This can become a serious problem, resulting in decreased microhardness and loss of dental tissue found on your precious pearly whites.

Erosion is a non-carious lesion of the tooth surface in which there is a continuous loss of enamel and dentin. 

One 2007 study even noted that carbonated water “demonstrated erosive potential similar to or greater than that of pure orange juice, an established erosive drink.”

However, it must be noted that this is in the case of extreme carbonated water use. 

Seltzers like Perrier are described by the American Dental Association as “minimally corrosive” at a pH of 5.25. This is much less than alternate beverages such as cranberry juice which has a pH of 2.5 – labeled “extremely corrosive”.

A comparative research study found that sugary soft drinks are 100 times more damaging than mineral water in relation to dental erosion

Weakening

General weakening of your teeth can also be caused by sparkling water, making them prone to damage such as chipping or cracking. 

Multiple studies have reported that prolonged exposure to carbonic acid will increase tooth sensitivity and potential for harm.

An in-vivo study on American adults published in 2018 showed that dental deterioration has been linked to the daily use of soft drinks, and consumption of soft drinks with meals has been linked to mild or severe tooth decay. 

Acidic

People often don’t realize that sparkling water is inherently acidic. 

To create carbonation, carbon dioxide is dissolved in water to form carbonic acid. 

If consumed for an extended period, this acid is likely to weaken your tooth enamel and cause serious problems for your oral health

An in-vitro study evaluated that all tested soft drinks were found to be erosive. Soft drinks with high calcium contents have significantly lower erosive potential. Low pH value and high citrate content may cause more surface enamel loss.

For context, lemon juice has a pH of about 2, Coca-Cola’s pH is below 3, and black coffee’s pH is around 5.

Enamel

Multiple studies have reported prolonged exposure to carbonic acid will increase tooth sensitivity and damage enamel

This is especially bad when the rough texture of your teeth provides the ideal surface for bacteria to cling to your teeth. The result is an increased risk of dental caries.

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry professor Janet Moradian-Oldak said, “Dental enamel is tricky stuff. Even though it’s the body’s hardest material, if it wears away from cavities, acidic food or carbonated drinks or overbrushing, it doesn’t regenerate.”

Tips For Reducing The Impact Of Carbonated Water On Your Teeth

Although it doesn’t pose an extreme danger, it is important to limit the risk by taking some simple steps to reduce the potential for carbonated water to damage your teeth:

  • Use a straw: One easy solution is to sip your carbonated beverages through a straw. This will minimize the contact of the water against your teeth and reduce the chance of erosion and weakening of enamel
  • Rinse with water: Similarly, you can get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with regular, plain water after drinking seltzer. 
  • It is such a simple step that will help to neutralize the acidity and wash away all potentially harmful residue left o.f your chompers

    • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately: Usually, the enamel layer on the tooth softens after the intake of soft drinks. This is due to the acidic nature of the drink. Immediate brushing of such teeth causes further damage to the teeth. Hence, brushing should be performed at least 30-60 minutes after the intake of soft drinks.
      To combat this, you should try Boka’s non-toxic and dentist-approved toothpaste! It remineralizes teeth while containing no artificial flavors or toxic ingredients, and helps strengthen tooth enamel, replenish natural calcium, and protect against tooth sensitivity
  • Drink in moderation. Practice moderation! Just like chocolate, indulging every now and then is great – but it is important not to make the consumption of sparkling water a regular occurrence. 
  • Consider healthier alternatives such as water that is plain or unsweetened without added citric acid.

    • Avoid soft drinks before sleep: During sleep, the self-cleansing action of saliva is reduced. So, the acidic and sugary content of the soft drinks retain in the mouth for a long time, increasing the risk of damage to the tooth surface. 
  • Avoid added sugars. On that note, stay clear of any carbonated waters containing added sugars or artificial sweeteners! These have been known to contribute to tooth decay and general weakening.

  • Choose sparkling water without citric acid. A flavor commonly added to seltzer, citric acid lowers the pH level, increasing acidity and causing enamel erosion. 
    • Always read the label. Sugars, sugar alcohols, and flavored soft drinks can cause extra damage to the teeth. When it comes to ingredients, “less is more."

    FAQs

    Is it OK to drink carbonated water every day? 

    Like everything, moderation is key. 

    Consistent consumption of carbonated beverages can cause enamel erosion and general weakening of the teeth. However, multiple prevention methods such as using a straw or rinsing one’s mouth can reduce the risk.

    Does carbonated water damage tooth enamel? 

    If consumed on a regular basis, carbonated water can cause damage to your tooth enamel. 

    There are multiple ways to prevent this from occurring, such as drinking the water through a straw, rinsing out your mouth after use, avoiding added sugars, or drinking in moderation.

    What type of carbonated water is best for my teeth? 

    If you must drink carbonated water, choosing one that is plain and unsweetened without added citric acid is best. 

    These options are better for your tooth enamel as they are less acidic. Stay clear of any seltzers branded with unique, fruity flavors or tastes.

    Back to blog