Seltzer, a carbonated water with added minerals or flavorings, is a refreshing alternative to soda and other sugary drinks. But, can it hurt your teeth? With increasing levels of cavities, especially among children and teenagers, there has been much debate about the safety of seltzer in terms of oral health.
To determine whether seltzer can damage tooth enamel, it is important to look at what is in seltzer and how it impacts your dental health.
- Seltzer generally contains carbon dioxide gas that causes bubbles and creates its fizzy texture. Carbon dioxide doesn’t naturally dissolve in water, so when it is added to create the sparkling drink we know as seltzer water, more acid is necessary to keep the gas dissolved. This increases the pH level (level of acidity) in seltzer which affects tooth enamel.
- While most forms of flavored seltzers contain citric or phosphoric acids to boost flavor, unflavored varieties are also available that do not contain added acid or sugars making them less likely to cause harm.
What is Seltzer?
Seltzer is a type of carbonated beverage which is made by dissolving carbon dioxide in water. It is sold both in bottles and cans and can be bought in many supermarkets, convenience stores and online retailers. It does not contain any calories or sugar and is often used as a fizzy alternative to soda or juice. Although seltzer can be enjoyed by itself, it has become increasingly popular to mix with flavors and juices to create flavorful drinks.
However, despite being calorie-free and not containing any added sugar, drinking seltzer regularly can have an adverse affect on your teeth over time. Carbonated beverages are known to contain acids which can damage the enamel on teeth, as well as erode the dentin beneath it. The longer these acidic agents come into contact with the teeth surface, the more damage will occur – this can cause aesthetic issues such as discoloration, but also put individuals at risk of developing more serious dental problems like cavities and tooth decay.
Despite these risks associated with seltzer consumption, there are ways to reduce potential harm posed by acidic content. One tip is drinking seltzer through a straw which directs the beverages away from your front teeth and reduces contact time with acids present in it. Consider the following tips:
- Consume additional water after drinking seltzer as well which helps flush away acidic content that may still be left over in mouth.
- Rinse your mouth out with plain water after consumption.
- Consider purchasing unflavored versions of seltzer when available or mixing regular seltzers with milk or natural juices.
- Limit consumption frequency – turning only subtle health risks associated with frequent consumption of sugary sodas for those still wishing for their favorite flavored carbonated drinks.
- Otherwise reduce sugar amounts or contact times when possible so that you’re able to enjoy your favorite drinks without damaging your dental health further overtime.
Is Seltzer Bad for Your Teeth?
Seltzer is a popular drink that many people enjoy for its refreshing flavor. However, with its acidic content, it can damage your teeth. The question is, is seltzer bad for your teeth? In this article, we will discuss the effects of seltzer on your teeth, as well as some tips for mitigating the impact of seltzer on your dental health.
High Acid Levels
Many people often assume that seltzer, or sparkling water, is a healthy beverage choice. While it’s true that seltzer is lower in sugar content than regular carbonated drinks, it does contain very high levels of acidity which can be damaging to teeth over time.
Seltzer has a pH level of around 3-4 on average and thus can cause major tooth erosion from the acids released by the drink. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) found that short-term acid exposure from sparkling beverages such as seltzer water is capable of causing significant harm to your teeth in as little as five minutes. Over an extended period of time, these acidic levels can erode dental enamel and lead to cavities and other issues with oral health.
Further research conducted by Arizona State University indicated that green tea and soda tend to stay on your teeth for longer periods of time than other drinks like water or milk. This combined with the high acidity levels present in seltzer makes it more likely to damage your teeth even further when consumed frequently over time.
To offset some of the dangers associated with drinking seltzer, experts recommend:
- Drinking more fluoridated tap water throughout the day.
- Washing your mouth out with plain water after consuming any type of drink apart from milk or natural juices.
The goal should be limit acidic beverages that linger for long periods after consumption while still getting your desired amount of hydration throughout the day. Drinking sugary soft drinks instead would likely be even more detrimental to one’s oral health over long-term use; however, other healthier alternatives exist if you absolutely need carbonation such as kombucha and unsweetened flavored carbonated waters with low levels of citric acid concentrations or artificial sweeteners.
High Sugar Levels
It’s no secret that seltzer can contain high levels of sugar. In fact, a single bottle of flavored seltzer may contain up to 12 grams of sugar in the form of added sweeteners. High levels of sugar can promote tooth decay and other dental problems because it provides fuel for harmful bacteria found in the mouth.
Soda is known for containing large amounts of sugar but seltzer can be just as detrimental if consumed regularly in high amounts. Regular and sugar-free versions both contain citric acid, another compound that can be damaging to teeth. Consuming sugary or acidic drinks on an empty stomach also increases their potential to cause damage as acid attacks teeth more aggressively when saliva isn’t present.
One way to minimize the risk is by limiting your consumption of sugary or acidic beverages and making sure you drink through a straw when you do enjoy one. Doing this helps decrease the amount of direct contact with your teeth and allows some added protection against damage caused by seltzers and other beverages. Additionally, make sure you rinse your mouth with water or chew on a piece of sugar-free gum after drinking anything sweet – this will help reduce plaque buildup on your teeth, which ultimately leads to better dental health over time.
Lack of Fluoride
Seltzer water has seen a huge increase in popularity but many are unaware of the potential consequences associated with its consumption. Research is mounting that suggests long-term consumption of seltzer water can erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities and other dental health issues.
The main concern with consuming seltzer water relates to the lack of fluoride in this beverage. Most tap water is fluoridated, meaning it contains an optimal amount of fluoride to ensure strong teeth and prevent tooth decay. Seltzer, on the other hand, is free of this protective mineral as it does not occur naturally in the source water used for making carbonated bubbly beverages. The lack of fluoride in seltzer over time can significantly contribute to weaker tooth enamel and make teeth more susceptible to cavities and other damage from acids found in drinks or food.
One way to address this issue is by drinking only fluoridated tap water or bottled spring water, which typically contains small amounts of natural fluoride in it that can strengthen your teeth with regular consumption. It’s also a good idea to:
- Rinse your mouth with plain tap water immediately after drinking any kind of acidic beverage like soda or seltzer – this will help neutralize the acidity and protect your teeth from further harm until you are able o brush your teeth or use mouthwash later on in the day.
How to Protect Your Teeth from Seltzer
Seltzer is a popular drink, but it can be damaging to your teeth if you don’t take steps to protect them. Studies have found that seltzer can cause tooth erosion due to its high acidity levels.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to protect your teeth from the effects of seltzer. In this article, we’ll go over the risks of drinking seltzer and how you can prevent tooth erosion from seltzer.
Use a Straw
Using a straw is an effective way to protect your teeth from the acids in seltzer. The reason you should use a straw when drinking seltzer or other carbonated beverages is to prevent the acid from coming into contact with your teeth. When using a straw, the drink is directed toward the back of your mouth and bypasses most of your oral cavity. This reduces exposure time to these acids, reducing potential damage on enamel surfaces.
Additionally, when drinking with a straw, it’s important that you keep the straw about an inch away from your front teeth. If you don’t do this, there will be more direct contact between the acids in the drink and your teeth which can potentially be damaging over time.
Furthermore, after you’re finished drinking seltzer it’s also important that you rinse out your mouth with water or some kind of non-acidic beverage so that any left-over residues are removed from around and in-between teeth. Additionally, if possible brushing gently and flossing can help remove any pollutants sticking between crevices of teeth quickly and more efficiently than rinsing alone due to its mechanical action on food particles stuck in tricky places like around braces or crowns placed on teeth surfaces previously.
Rinse with Water
Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking seltzer can help protect your teeth from acid damage. This helps to balance the pH levels in your mouth, while also washing away any residual seltzer that may be left on the tooth’s surface. To ensure maximum protection, it is important to swish the water vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Then, spit out the water and rinse several more times.
Doing this every time you drink seltzer can help keep your tooth enamel healthier and will reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
With high levels of carbonic acid, carbonated beverages like seltzer water can have a negative effect on your teeth if they are consumed frequently. The erosion of the enamel will cause your teeth to become more sensitive and at risk for cavities. The best way to protect your teeth while enjoying seltzer is to follow good oral hygiene practices.
One of the most important steps that you can take is using fluoride toothpaste when brushing twice each day. Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to wear or erosion caused by acid in seltzer or other beverages. Be sure that you are brushing for two minutes each time and that you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush so as not to damage the enamel of the teeth further.
Fluoride rinses or mouthwashes may also help protect against erosion from acidic beverages on days when you do not brush as thoroughly as you should. For added protection, consider talking with your dentist about mouth sealants which act as a protective coating and can provide an extra layer of defense against acidic drinks like seltzer water.
Overall, seltzer is a relatively safe beverage to drink on a daily basis. Compared to other types of beverages like cider, beer and soda, it has the least amount of sugar and acid that could potentially damage your teeth. However, even though seltzer can be less destructive than other drinks due to its low sugar and acid content, drinking too much of it can still increase your risk for tooth decay because bubbly drinks can lead to lower levels of saliva production in the mouth.
Since effervescent drinks also contain some degree of acidity and carbonation, in addition to moderation it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water after consuming seltzer to help neutralize the pH balance in your mouth. You should also remember that:
- Brushing and flossing regularly are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene since they are proven strategies for fighting tooth decay.