Sparkling water is often perceived as the “healthier” option when it comes to fizzing drinks, but it can still damage your teeth.
According to Dr Adam Thorne, founder of the Harley Street Dental Studio, the majority of people have no idea that sparkling water is “extremely acidic”.
“It’s pH3 on the acidity scale. The bubbles erode your tooth enamel – and over time this causes painful, yellow cracked teeth,” he said, according to the MailOnline.
In comparison, most commercial distilled white vinegars tend to have a pH value that ranges between 2.4 and 3.4, meaning sparkling water can be more acidic than some vinegars.
Professor Damian Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, explained how sparkling water becomes acidic in the first place.
“Carbonated water gets its fizz from the release of CO2 and then this dissolves in water into carbonic acid, which gives it a refreshing taste, but also makes it more acidic,” he told HuffPost UK.
“Sparkling water is far less acidic than orange juice or a soft drink, but it’s acidic compared to plain water. The other element at play is that saliva in your mouth can help to neutralise the acid, however, it is safest to drink still water but if you have a sparkling carbonated drink, keep it to mealtimes only.”
He added that even diet colas, though low in sugar, can be bad for teeth, “because of the citric acid in diet and sweetened fizzy drinks”.
Previously speaking to HuffPost UK, NHS dental consultant Claire Stevens explained that the way we consume fizzy drinks, as well as their ingredients and acid levels, has an impact on our teeth.
She explained that if two people drink a can of coke, with one person drinking it in one go and the other sipping it during the day, the second person will have a higher risk of tooth decay, even though you’ve had the same beverage.
“It takes anything from 30 minutes to two hours for the mouth to recover [from the acid],” she said.
“If you’re snacking or drinking sugar more than every 30 minutes, there’s no chance for the mouth to recover.”
Thorne, who’s a spokesperson for Regenerate Enamel Science toothpaste, said the same can be said for sparkling water, and recommended using a straw or drinking bottles in one go, rather than sipping, to limit damage.