Dentists Have Some Bad News About Fizzy Water

Put down that La Croix and read this
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2016 6:57 PM CST
Dentists Have Some Bad News About Fizzy Water
Dentists say sparkling water can be bad for your teeth, even if it's unflavored. (But gin is still OK, right?)   (Shutterstock)

Desk jockeys are more and more often turning to La Croix, Perrier, and club soda to get through the work day, the Atlantic reports. In fact, sparkling water sales have doubled in the past five years. "For me, rock bottom was a recent, obscenely long workday during which an entire 12-pack of coconut La Croix somehow made it down my throat," journalist Olga Khazan writes. So she had a vested interest in the answer when she took to Twitter to find out from dentists whether fizzy water is bad for your teeth. Warning: The answer may bum you out. “My advice is to keep acidic drinks to meal times, and if you have to sip drinks between meals, then plain water is the safest," professor of dentistry Damien Walmsley says.

That's because sparkling water—even the unflavored kind—contains carbonic acid. That makes the water sparkle, but it can also wear down tooth enamel. And it's worse if other flavoring acids are present. A 2007 study put teeth in flavored sparkling water for 30 minutes and found it to be as bad for them as orange juice. But just how bad unflavored seltzer is for you depends on other factors, such as diet and fluoride intake (sorry, Portland). “For an average, healthy person, carbonated, sugar-free beverages are not going to be a main cavity-causing factor,” dentist Andrew Swiatowicz says. He says anyone who's super concerned can always "just swish with regular water after." Back in July, Bustle looked at five other questions bubbling up around sparkling water, such as if it keeps you as hydrated as regular water and whether it makes you gassy. (Read more teeth stories.)

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