We all know how important it is to drink water and stay hydrated throughout the day. After all, water is critical to life and is responsible for maintaining a number of essential functions within the body. However, water is no longer just water. A quick trip through the grocery store will remind you that water comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors in today’s market. If you are a fan of flavored waters, you might want to take a second look at your hydration choice, as it turns out that flavored waters could be eroding your teeth.
Flavored water has grown in popularity as people try to make smart diet choices by avoiding the sugar and additives found in soda and other soft drinks. It appears from the surface that flavored water would be the perfect middle ground for consumers who crave taste without the negative health impacts, but still and sparkling flavored water alike poses a risk to your teeth instead.
The flavors found in flavored waters come mainly from the essences of citrus fruits, which are high in acids. Though the occasional flavored water won’t do much harm, drinking flavored citrus water every day might lead to significant tooth erosion. Erosion is defined as “the incremental dissolving away of the enamel on the teeth, which, over time, can affect their structural integrity, making them hypersensitive to temperature and potentially more cavity-prone,” according to Edmond R. Hewlett, the consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.
The more acidic a drink, the lower its pH will be. Regular drinking water has a pH between 6 and 8, which is perfectly safe for teeth. Carbonating water brings the pH down to 5, which is still safe enough for you to continue enjoying plain sparkling water. However, when citric acid is added to flavored water, the pH plummets. Dasani flavored water, for instance, has a dangerously low pH of 3, which isn’t far from the 2.25 pH of pure lemon juice!
Overall, your best solution is to enjoy flavored water as a treat rather than your primary hydration source. Frequent, regular consumption will endanger your teeth, but indulging in your favorite flavored water a few times a week is just fine and still a huge improvement from soda. If you want to have an expert evaluate your teeth for signs of erosion, or if it’s simply time for your next six-month checkup, call the Obrochta Center for Dental Health in St. Petersburg, Florida at (727) 321-4464. Dr. Obrochta and his team will give you everything you need for true dental wellness.