Are you a fan of flavored water? If you can’t live without your La Croix- you may want to stop drinking and read this before your next sip. Researchers have found that flavored waters are high in citric and fruit acids- which can lead to damage to your tooth enamel over time. Dr. Caracioni advises patients to skip flavored waters or at least handle with care.
Drinks High in Acid can Damage Enamel
The pH of flavored waters is typically between 3 and 4, placing in the acid range of the scale. Dr. Caracioni says that drinking regular water is much safer, as most drinking water systems range between 6.5 and 7.2.
When enamel becomes damaged by acid, it becomes sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks. It is susceptible to developing cavities and decay. These drinks also may strip calcium away from the bones like the jaw, causing them to weaken and teeth to loosen.
Adding in Carbonation can Make Matters Worse for Your Enamel
Carbonated flavored waters are even worse, according to researchers at the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. Carbonation can increase the level of acidity in some beverages.
Some methods of carbonation can also leach calcium from your bones- including your jawbone- weakening them over time.
Minimize the Damage to Your Enamel from Your Drinks
If you’re not quite ready to quit your flavored water or flavored, fizzy water habits, you can minimize the damage to your teeth with these tips.
Everything in Moderation
Limit how frequently you drink these beverages, and be sure to drink plenty of water in between to rinse your teeth. Flavored waters should not be your main source of hydration.
Drink Up. If you’re going to drink flavored waters, drink them in one sitting versus sipping them throughout the day. Sipping on a flavored continuously washes the teeth in acid, and does not allow the saliva the ability to neutralize the acid in the mouth to save your enamel.
Drink Them While Dining. It is best to drink flavored water with food. This is because the act of chewing stimulates the production of saliva. Increased saliva is a good thing because it has the enzymes necessary to reduce acidity and protect the enamel.
Wait to Brush. Contrary to popular belief, patients should not brush immediately after drinking acidic beverages. This is because more damage could be done during that 30 minutes after being exposed to high acid drinks or foods. The best course of action is to wait 30 minutes before brushing as not to further damage enamel.