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Dental trend spotlight: Sparkling water

Drinking sparkling water is a hip trend, but is it good for your smile?

Any carbonated drink gets its effervescence from carbon dioxide that turns into carbonic acid once ingested. In some carbonated drinks, this carbonic acid can wear away enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities. Trading soft drinks for fizzy water can be a good choice, however, because sparkling water is typically far less acidic.

The level of acid in most sparkling water does not pose a threat to your teeth, according to the American Dental Association. When researchers soaked teeth in sparkling water versus regular water, they observed no significant difference in enamel erosion. More research is needed to fully explore the topic, but current knowledge suggests the coast is clear.

So, enjoy those bubbly wonders, but make sure they don’t become your main source of hydration. Without the fluoride from most tap water, teeth may be at higher risk for tooth decay over time.

Try these tips to keep your beverage choices even more mouth-friendly:

Watch out for sparkling water with harmful additives. Some flavors like lemon and orange contain higher levels of citric acid, while others are sweetened with sugars, which can put you at greater risk for cavities.

Remember that adding a slice of lemon or lime to your glass of sparkling water can increase acid levels and wear away tooth enamel.

Minimize the amount of time carbonated water is in your mouth. It’s better to drink it all in one sitting or with a meal rather than slowly sipping on it throughout the day. Also, avoid holding it in your mouth or swirling it around before swallowing.

Our verdict: Enjoy sparkling water in moderation, but make plain water your drink of choice.

A smile can say it's too good to put down A smile can say it's too good to put down A smile can say it's too good to put down