Flavored Water: Is it Healthy for Your Mouth?
In the past thirty years, there has been a huge shift in the type of beverages consumed by the public. A push to first make water taste “better”, followed by efforts to make drinking water more appealing and fun by adding non-caloric flavorings.
While no one can dispute the health benefits of staying properly hydrated, there are many differing opinions about whether flavoring your water has any unwanted side effects. Some great research projects have shed some light on the subject of Water Enhancers and your teeth.
What studies have been conducted?
Dental schools in the United States and Canada conducted studies using different Water Enhancers on teeth in a laboratory environment. By immersing teeth in solutions of different marketed water enhancers like Crystal Light, Propel, Nestea, Dasani and others they were able to show the effects of erosion.
Erosion is the loss of surface tooth structure as a result of Chemical effect. The chemicals can come from the inside (like stomach acids in reflux disease), or the outside environment (i.e. foods) like was the purpose of this study on Water Enhancer additives.
What has been found?
The findings of the study: Yes, water enhancers like Crytal Light and others all caused significant erosion to teeth.
So I hear your anger. You're saying to yourself: “I switched away from Soda to a Water Enhancer. Now you tell me that’s bad for my teeth too? It’s not even carbonated and less acidic. How can that be?” Great question! And a warning to the non-science nerds, this is where it gets a little wonky.
Scientist-type persons use pH to quantify the Acidity of a substance. But that is not the only factor in how destructive a food is to your teeth. Buffering is when a substance is converted to a neutral (not acidic or basic) pH. Distilled Water is Neutral pH for example.
Still with me? Well, this is the take home: While Water Enhancers are less acidic, their ingredients take a long time to buffer. Thus keeping them acidic for a longer period of time letting them erode more tooth structure. Too much of a good thing ends up being bad.
If you are looking for a quality dentist in the Meridian, ID area, contact our office. Dr. Cantwell has been serving this area for 15 years and is always accepting new patients.