By Advance Your Health Dental | Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S. | Calgary Dentist
There’s something so refreshing about having a cold, icy glass of your favourite beverage on a hot summer day (yes, summer will be here again!). But what if your favourite beverage is carbonated? Is the carbonation causing damage to your pearly whites? Lately, our Calgary dentist has seen varying reports on the effects of carbonation on your teeth, so our Calgary dentist gets to the bottom of it here.
There is no doubt that any beverage, carbonated or not, that contains sugar can be detrimental to your teeth. If your favourite carbonated drink is one with added sugar, whether it be a cola or sparkling juice, our Calgary dentist’s advice is to go ahead and enjoy these drinks, but in moderation, and to make sure you brush your teeth after indulging. Our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, advises that it’s best to wait at least a half an hour to an hour before brushing your teeth to let your saliva begin to repair any weakening of the enamel caused by the higher acid level. If you have an orthodontic appliance, however, you should remove and brush your appliance immediately after consuming any sugary or carbonated beverage.
WHAT ABOUT CARBONATED DRINKS WITH NO ADDED SUGAR, LIKE SPARKLING WATER?
According to the American Dental Association on their Mouth Healthy website, carbonated beverages do have a higher acidity levels than non-carbonated drinks. Foods with higher acidity levels can weaken your teeth’s enamel (enamel is the hard outer shell of your teeth). Recently, some reports have suggested that sipping carbonated drinks, even carbonated water, may put you at increased risk for tooth decay.
The good news for all you sparkling water lovers (and our Calgary dentist is one of them) is that, according to the American Dental Association, sipping sparkling water (with no added sugars) does not appear to damage your teeth. In making this conclusion, the American Dental Association cites research where the effects of carbonation in sparkling water on teeth were studied. In this study, researchers used donated teeth that were removed as a part of treatment. The researchers immersed the donated teeth in both carbonated water and regular water. The results indicated that the enamel on both sets of teeth were basically the same for both water samples. The conclusion of this research suggests that, despite the slightly higher levels of acidity in sparkling water than in ordinary uncarbonated water, your teeth don’t seem to be bothered by the carbonation. To your teeth, it’s basically all the same.
OUR CALGARY DENTIST’S TIPS FOR ENJOYING SPARKLING BEVERAGES
If you love sparkling beverages, especially if you like to drink them daily, make sure that you are drinking sugarless sparkling drinks. Plain sparkling water is the best. Drinking sparkling drinks with added sugar can cause tooth decay and should be consumed in moderation. If you live in a city where the water is fluoridated, try to drink the tap water as you get the added benefit of fluoride, which helps to fight cavities. Water also washes away food particles left in your mouth after eating and prevents your mouth from being dry. Washing away any leftover food also decreases the amount of cavity causing bacteria in your mouth, thereby decreasing your risk of cavities.
If you drink sparkling water with added citrus flavours, be aware that these drinks have higher acidity levels which does increase the risk of causing damage to your teeth’s enamel. If you just can’t do without carbonated beverages with added citrus flavours or added sugar, it is best to drink these beverages at mealtimes or only once per day, in one sitting. If you limit these drinks and don’t sip them throughout the entire day, you won’t be giving your teeth a constant bath of these cavity causing substances. It is also recommended that, if you do wish to indulge in carbonated beverages with added sugar, you drink these types of beverages with a straw, which will also help to reduce your teeth’s overall exposure to the cavity causing sugar.
Another helpful tip is that, if you do enjoy the occasional sugary carbonated beverage, be careful when you drink them. Although it is tempting to open a sugar containing sports drink after being active, this is not the best time to do so. After playing sports, you can become dehydrated which can cause your mouth to be dry. Because your saliva plays an important role in coating and protecting your teeth from cavity causing foods, it is best to avoid sugary carbonated beverages when you are dehydrated, as your mouth will be lacking the protection of saliva, thereby increasing the risk of the sugary drink causing damage to your teeth.
Our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, and his dedicated team members are always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your dental health. We are always accepting new patients and welcome you to make an appointment at our Calgary dental office for a meet and greet, consultation, dental hygiene appointment or for dental treatment. Call us today at 403.283.4252. Our Calgary dental team is always here to help.
Please be advised that this blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis. Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine. Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more informtion about your specific dental health requirements.
Copyright: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental. Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
General Dentistry | Emergency Dentist | Cosmetic Dentistry | Sedation Dentistry | Dental Hygiene | Implant Dentistry | Family Dentistry