Water is the dentist’s friend – free of sugar and with cleansing properties it is the ideal choice of drink to help maintain healthy teeth.
By what about the huge assortment of flavoured water that is available on the market? Is it all just as good for you? The short answer is, in terms of dental health, no.
Water is an essential part of wellbeing and good hydration goes hand-in-hand with a healthy body. Health experts advise that we enjoy 6-8 glasses a day to stay hydrated.
In a world of huge consumer choice, however, there are plenty of other beverages vying for our attention, unfortunately many of these contain sugar.
With awareness continually rising about the empty calories of fizzy drinks, which pose a threat to dental health, more consumers are turning away from such obviously unhealthy choices.
Choosing sugar free? Watch out for fruit acids
However, many health conscious shoppers opt for water-themed drinks in the belief that it is better for their health.
Which, on the balance of things, they possibly are – but if you think you are making a decision that is good for your teeth, it might be wise to think again.
While flavoured water is often sugar-free, which is a good thing, it can be high in citric acid due to the flavourings used, particularly in the case of citrus fruits.
This can push the acidic levels of flavoured water up to as much as pH 3, when normal water sits between 6 and 8. The lower (0-7) the pH level of food or drink the more likely it is to cause acid enamel erosion to teeth.
The corrosion of the enamel surface of teeth can lead to tooth decay and, unfortunately, there is no way to repair enamel.
So, while the fact that flavoured water can be sugar-free is a bonus you have to consider what it is being flavoured with and how acidic that is.
Particularly troublesome to teeth is when flavoured water is sipped. While sipping plain tap water will have no effect on the teeth, sipping acidic, flavoured water throughout the day will spell trouble for tooth enamel.
Sparkling water fares slightly better and is a reasonable alternative to fizzy drinks. The carbon dioxide that is used to carbonate water does make sparkling water slightly acidic so it is worth considering limiting it to meal times, but it is certainly better for your teeth than sugar-filled fizzy drinks.
As with all treats in life moderation is key. If you are a fan of flavoured water stick to drinking it at mealtimes so that that acidic effect is contained and the mouth has the chance to counter the effects in one go.
The best option is to make plain water your drink of choice.
If you are concerned about sensitive teeth get in touch with Bhandal Dentistry.