Sorry to ‘Pop Your Bubble’... but Not all Water is Created Equal!
Are you enjoying the latest trend of drinking carbonated waters? Or water with flavoring or lemon? Unfortunately, these habits make the benefits of water a little murky for your mouth.
Plain water, either tap or bottled, is a great way for you to rehydrate and has the added benefit of rinsing away food particles and sugars from your teeth. But, as soon as you make your water more exciting by adding bubbles, flavors or citrus you create a dangerous acid bath for your teeth, which is perfect for creating cavities. Adding natural ingredients like lemon, may be good for digestion and general heath, but it will also make your healthy water acid. Even if the beverage doesn’t contain sugar (and worse if it does), this can be very risky habit for your pearly whites.
Why the worry? The act of carbonating a liquid by adding CO2 makes it acidic because of a by product, carbonic acid. Lemons or fruit added to your water also does this through citric acid. Be aware of artificial flavouring as well. They may taste great and have little to no calories, yet the first ingredient is often citric acid. This instantly makes your water worse for your teeth. This is what you need to remember…. Every time you drink or eat something acidic, your mouth stays acidic for at least 30 minutes before your saliva dilutes it and washes the acids away. When your mouth is acidic, the calcium and phosphate, which are the minerals that make up enamel, start to ‘dissolve’ out of your teeth. Do this often enough and it weakens the tooth, which increases your risk for getting cavities. As your tooth enamel this, your teeth may appear dull and turn yellow or darker. Unfortunately, these charges are often permanent. Pure, simple water is best.
If you just cannot give up your bubbly beverage, consider chaining how you drink it. This can make a difference.
- Use a straw. If you drink it though a straw, the acidic drink will bypass most of your teeth. Don’t swish it between your teeth as you drink.
- Don’t sip all day. If you drink it with a set meal or snack this will limit the acid attack time. Sipping between meals and snacks prolong the time your teeth are exposed to the acid and increases your risk for getting cavities.
- Limit it to one beverage a day.
- Strengthen your teeth. There are excellent dental products that contain calcium and phosphate (novamin, Recaldent, Mi Paste) in addition to regular fluoride toothpastes and rinses. These products help to replace the minerals that you lose from your teeth. If used properly they can boost the building block of your teeth to repair an protect you from the acids in your food and drinks.
- Don’t brush immediately after drinking- if you brush before the saliva has a chance to neutralize, you will only be brushing the acid over the rest of the teeth, accelerating the erosion. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing or rinse your mouth with some plain water.
- Regular dental visits- See your dentist at least twice per year for professional advice and care. Treating dental decay earlier is always more conservative than waiting for it to become a problem that you notice.
Regardless of how many minerals you add to your daily home care routine, if you constantly expose your teeth to the acids in your beverages, you will eventually see the effects on your teeth.
As any of our team members and they would be happy to give you more information regarding preventive strategies and how you can lower your cavity risk.
Stick to pure, simple water as nature intended! Your smile will thank you for it.