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Does Seltzer Damage Your Teeth?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Adding a little fizz to your day with seltzer water is a great way to stay hydrated, but what effect does it have on your teeth? Some people use bubbly water as a sugar-free and calorie-free alternative to unhealthy carbonated beverages like soda. If you're a fan of seltzer drinks, these tips may help you understand how you can still enjoy them while keeping your mouth healthy.

What Are the Effects of Seltzer Drinks on Teeth?

Seltzer water gets its bubbles by being infused with carbon dioxide under high pressure. Carbonating water makes the water acidic, creating an acidic environment in your mouth which weakens enamel. Not to mention, some additives, such as citrus flavors, are more acidic than others.

Is It Better to Drink Water or Seltzer?

When it comes to hydration, a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests there's no difference between still water or carbonated water without additives. Though seltzer water is more acidic, it shouldn't do much damage to your teeth if enjoyed in moderation. Even flavored seltzer water can be significantly better than sugary drinks like sodas and juice.

According to the American Dental Association, water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities by strengthening enamel against acids. Water washes away the leftover food cavity-causing bacteria feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).

If you want to keep your mouth healthy while you sip, try some of these helpful tips:

  • Stay hydrated: Be sure to drink water regularly to stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth.
  • Swish water around: Prevent sugars from sticking to your enamel by swishing some water in your mouth.
  • Drink through a straw: This can limit the amount of contact your mouth has with something that's highly acidic or sugary.
  • Fluoride mouthwash: Give your enamel some added protection by rinsing with fluoride mouthwash at least 30 minutes after drinking acidic or sugary beverages.

If you'd like something with all the carbonation of a soda, but nowhere near the sugar content, seltzers are a fantastic option—even if infused with sweet additives for flavor. Though seltzer drinks are more acidic than still water, they don't present a risk to your enamel or oral health if consumed in moderation.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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