Does Seltzer Really Damage Tooth Enamel?

man drinking a bottle of water

Seltzer, or sparkling water, has become an increasingly popular beverage option for folks trying to avoid unhealthy drinks or just trying to have a little fun while staying hydrated. While seltzer waters are definitely better for your teeth than more sugary alternatives such as soda or fruit juice, could seltzer have a negative effect on your oral health? Let’s see if these fizzy waters are actually damaging your teeth.

How Carbonation Affects Your Tooth Enamel

Enamel is the outer layer of our teeth that protects the more sensitive inner tooth layers. Fun fact: enamel is the hardest substance produced by our body! Even so, enamel can be weakened by a number of things, including carbonated drinks. The carbon dioxide in seltzer and other bubbly beverages reacts with water to form carbonic acid, which can indeed have an erosive effect on your teeth, potentially leading to cavities and tooth sensitivity. That said, the acidity level of seltzer is lower than that of sodas, so those sparkling waters are still better for your teeth than Diet Coke.

How to Reduce Damage Caused by Seltzer

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up sparkling water altogether. Although seltzer is more acidic than regular water, it is unlikely to cause significant harm to tooth enamel when enjoyed in moderation. To minimize damage caused by carbonated beverages, you might drink it through a straw so that the seltzer doesn’t touch as much of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with regular water after enjoying a fizzy treat will help remove some of the carbonic acid from the surface of your teeth. Some flavoring agents could include citric acids, increasing the chance of enamel damage, so sticking with plain seltzer is probably your best bet. And finally, be sure that you are getting plenty of tap water as well! The fluoride in tap water can help make your teeth stronger.

Fluoride Treatments in Overland Park, Kansas

If you are concerned about seltzer or other factors affecting your oral health, our Overland Park Family Dental team may recommend a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your tooth enamel. For more information, schedule an appointment today!

Contact Us