Bubbles = Bad?

Thursday, 28 October 2021
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Sparkling wine, energy drinks, soft drinks, soda water, and sparkling water are a refreshing and energizing drink. These drinks form such a common part of our lifestyle in Australia that our supermarkets have an entire aisle dedicated to them and many of us drink them daily.

How do the bubbles get into the bottle?

There are several natural springs in the world that create carbonated water naturally, but most drinks become carbonated by adding Carbon dioxide gas to water which creates Carbonic acid, thus the name “Carbonated” drinks.

What does my dentist want me to know about carbonated drinks?

We want you to be aware that plain water that is carbonated, with no additives, has a more acidic pH when compared to normal tap water which has a neutral pH. Tooth enamel being exposed to acids for a prolonged period results in erosion of that enamel.

One example of what we would consider “prolonged exposure” is sipping a bottle of soda water every 15 minutes over the course of an afternoon.

The bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum infections prefer an acidic environment, so when the pH of the mouth is reduced by consuming carbonated drinks, the numbers of these bacteria rapidly increase.

This means that sparkling water, soda water and diet soft drinks, although not containing any sugar, can do a lot of damage to the enamel on your teeth

When adding sugar, fruit juices and other additives to the mix, the risk for dental decay, gum disease skyrockets, as the bacteria that cause these problems thrive on the simple sugars that are in these drinks.

I still want to indulge in bubbly drinks- are there tricks my dentist wants me to know?

There sure are!

Limit your exposure. Make sure that you aren’t consuming carbonated drinks daily.

Always try to drink through a straw- this stops the liquid washing over all of your teeth.

Try to consume the drink within a short period of time rather than over several hours, to reduce the time of the acid attack on your teeth.

Have a drink of plain tap water after drinking carbonated drinks to rinse the acid off your teeth and neutralize the pH of your mouth.

Wait at least 30 minutes after your last sip of drink before brushing your teeth. This one surprises a lot of people. Microscopically, the enamel’s most superficial layer will be softened by the acid of the carbonated drinks. Allowing the minerals in the saliva to harden this layer of enamel for 30 minutes prevents you from brushing away precious tooth enamel.