In the past, we’ve discussed how harmful soda is for oral health. With summer in full swing, we know that many of our patients here in Gainesville will be tempted to open up a can of soda to cool down. While this drink may be refreshing, it can also be disastrous for oral health. The combination of sugar and acids put your teeth at risk for enamel erosion, which will then make you more susceptible to several other problems.
So, what is the solution to this problem? For years, many patients have opted for seltzer water instead of soda. After all, you still get that refreshing bubbly sensation without the added calories, sugar, and acids. However, new studies suggest that seltzer water isn’t as harmless for our oral health as we had originally thought. To explain more on this subject, dental implant provider, Dr. Gary Altschuler shares the surprising truth about seltzer water for his patients here at Altschuler Periodontic and Implant Center.
The Rise of Seltzer Water
As most of our readers know, many adults in the U.S have become more health-conscious in recent years. Researchers believe that this new growing interest in health is one of the key reasons more people are opting for seltzer water instead of soda. In fact, seltzer water was named “the new soda” by Huffington Post back in 2015. While sparkling water has been a long-time favorite in Europe, this trend is finally catching on in the U.S with the volume of carbonated water increasing by 56.4% from 2009 to 2014.
Along with the increase in carbonated water sales, we’ve also seen a noticeable drop in soda sales. For this reason, many soda companies began launching their own lines of sparkling water with light flavoring. Big-name brands such as Coca-Cola and Nestle anticipated the increased demand for diet-friendly carbonated beverages and launched their own versions a few years ago. For many fans of carbonated water, established brands, like LaCroix, were the go-to choice for fizzed water. Beverage industry data also shows that the sales of LaCroix Sparkling Water have tripled since 2009 to a whopping $175 million.
The drop in soda sales can also be attributed to increased awareness of the harmful effects of soda. Soda is harmful to your overall health and especially damaging to your oral health. It is harmful due to two main ingredients:
Sugar: Like we’ve mentioned before, sugar is harmful to your oral health because bacteria present in your mouth will use the sugar to create an acidic substance. The acid will then wear away at your tooth enamel and make you susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Phosphoric Acid: This ingredient is added to soda to add a “bite” to the flavor. Phosphoric acid is one of the most common food additive used and can also be damaging to your tooth enamel due to its high acidity level.
Is Seltzer Water a Better Option Than Soda?
Seltzer water is often regarded as a healthy, tooth-friendly option. Unfortunately, some studies have found that this isn’t completely true. A study from 2007 found that flavored sparkling water can be “potentially erosive” for tooth enamel. This is due to the slightly acidic nature of sparkling water. Flavored or unflavored sparkling water can still be potentially harmful to your oral health because they contain carbonic acid, which is known to wear away at tooth enamel over time.
It’s important to note that the damage sparkling water can do to your smile is still significantly less than what soda will do to your smile. In fact, researchers say that individuals would need to drink an enormous amount of sparkling water over a long period of time before you would even come close to the enamel erosion that is typically caused by habitual soda consumption.
So, what’s the final verdict? If given the choice, we absolutely recommend choosing sparkling water rather than soda, but of course, it’s still important to be aware of the potential harm it can cause. If you’d rather not risk it, choose water! This will not only hydrate you during this summer heat but it will also increase saliva production, which can end up benefitting your smile.
Contact our Office in Gainesville
We hope our patients have found this helpful when choosing which beverages to cool down with this summer. For other oral health concerns like tooth loss, we recommend looking into restorative options as soon as possible. Here at Altschuler Periodontic and Implant Center, we’ve been able to restore the smiles of countless patients with the help of dental implants. Ready to start your implant treatment? Contact our office today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with Dr. Altschuler!