Is soda water bad for my teeth?

If you’re a big fan of soda water as a fun alternative to still water, you may want to consider its effects on your teeth.

We all know we should drink plenty of good, old-fashioned water but let’s be honest – it’s *boring*. If you’ve been on the health wagon for a while you’ll likely be trying not to ‘drink your calories’ and opting for sugar free bevs where possible.

Enter soda water. Our dearest friend and colleague who stands by us and tricks our body into thinking we’re drinking something fun when we’re not. *bless*

But had you considered your teeth? Is soda water really just fizzy water, or is there something else lurking in that chemical reaction? We spoke to Dr Mikaela Chinotti from the Australian Dental Association, and her answers may surprise you.

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Remind us why normal fizzy drinks (lemonade and cola) are bad for our teeth?

“Fizzy drinks are not tooth-friendly drink options for two reasons – sugar and acid. A diet high in sugar increases the risk of tooth decay developing as certain bacteria living in the mouth use this sugar to attack the surface of our teeth, which over time can result in tooth decay developing.

“Even if a fizzy drink does not have sugar as an ingredient, ingredients such as phosphoric or citric acid, which lead the drink to have a low pH value can cause damage to our teeth. The lower the pH value, the more acidic the drink which can cause damage to the surface of our teeth.”

Is soda water bad for my teeth?

“Soda water is also known as carbonated water. It is created by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in water – this creates an acid known as carbonic acid. The carbonic acid causes the pH of soda water to be lower than plain water but it is not as low as fizzy soft drinks.

“Because soda water does not include sugar as an ingredient and the pH value of the drink is higher than that of fizzy soft drinks, these factors mean it is a more favourable option when looking for a drink with some fizz, however, it should still not be drunk every day.”

So it’s not as good for us as normal water?

“Nothing compares to drinking ‘normal’ water. Plain (or ‘normal’) water with no added flavour or bubbles is the best drink option for your body and your teeth.

“Tap water, when available, is the best choice as 89% of Australian communities have access to fluoridated community drinking water. Fluoride in drinking water helps to protect and strengthen teeth.”

Is mineral water or tonic water preferable to soda water?

“Mineral water comes from natural underground reservoirs and springs and when no flavours or bubbles are added to it, mineral water should not negatively affect our teeth.

“Tonic water is a form of carbonated water that contains an added ingredient quinine. It often also contains sugar, compared to mineral water and soda water, which do not, making it the least teeth friendly of the three options [mineral, soda, tonic].”

What ingredients should we look out for?

“Try to choose drinks that do not have sugar as an added ingredient. Beware that the word ‘sugar’ will not always be used to represent the sugary ingredient.

“Any drink with bubbles present will have some form of acid, either as an added ingredient, such as phosphoric or citric acid (on labels called food acids 338 and 330), or carbonic acid which is formed as part of the reaction between carbon dioxide and water in soda water.”

If we like bubbles, what are the best beverages to choose to look after our teeth?

“Sparkling water and soda water are better options when looking for drinks with bubbles. However, the best beverages for the health of our teeth are milk and plain water.”

*grabs smoothie*