Most people are aware of the dental perils of sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, but surely sparkling water is perfectly safe for your teeth, right? After all, dentists often recommend water as an alternative to sodas and sports drinks. It might surprise you to learn that it’s not quite so straightforward.
Soft drinks can be bad for your teeth because they tend to be loaded with sugar or non-sugar sweetener alternatives that feeds harmful oral bacteria, resulting in the creation of enamel-attacking acids. As the protective enamel layer is stripped away, it leaves the teeth exposed to infection and decay.
It is not just the sugar in soft drinks that threatens tooth health. It’s all the fizz.
Carbonated beverages get their fizz from carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid in the mouth. This acid has the potential to cause erosion of dental enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
One of the warning signs of enamel erosion in increased tooth sensitivity with exposure to hot or cold foods/drinks. Yellowing of the teeth may also signal enamel erosion as the white, shiny enamel gives way to the darker, yellower dentine underneath.
Keeping Things in Perspective
Now before you start panicking and give up Perrier and Pellegrino forever, it’s important to note that even though sparkling waters can alter the acidic balance in the mouth, it pales in comparison to the sort of acidic damage that occurs with the likes of sodas, fruit juices and other sugary or sweetened beverages. That said, if sparkling water is your drink of choice and you’re sipping it throughout the day, it could accelerate tooth wear. Especially if you like the flavoured sparkling waters, or enjoy a slice of lemon or lime. The addition of any such flavourings or fruit increases the acidity of the beverage.
Generally speaking, unflavoured sparkling water is considered fine for your teeth – in moderation! .A study found that both types of water were more or less the same in their effects on enamel, noting that sparkling water is slightly more acidic. So, all things in moderation – if you don’t overdo it with sparkling water, your teeth should be fine
- Be sure to mix in plenty of fluoridated plain water along with sparkling water to help naturally fight cavities and maintain the healthy pH balance in the mouth.
- Be mindful of the fact that all sparkling waters are not created equal. For example, citrus-flavoured waters increases the acidity levels of the beverage, increasing the risk for enamel erosion.
- Watch out for sparkling water which have sugar in them. Flavoured waters with sugar can be as bad as other sugar-laden drinks, so if you enjoy sparkling water, make sure you’re enjoying the real deal.
The team at the Harrow Dental Centre will be happy help if you have any concerns.
6 April 2018
A sugar tax applies to soft drinks from today.
The first is a tax on the total sugar content of drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml (taxed on point of production or importation at a cost of 18p per litre), and the second, a higher tax (24p per litre) on those drinks with 8g or more sugar per 100ml.
Drinks manufacturers have responded to these measures in one of two ways: by reducing the sugar content of their drinks – in some cases replacing it with sweeteners – or by proposing price increases to account for the levy.
Although sugar is notorious as an enemy of dental health, another food ingredient could also be damaging your teeth: phosphoric acid. Found in carbonated cola drinks, phosphoric acid is thought to be the second most abundant food additive in the food industry. Due to its high acidity level, phosphoric acid may erode enamel and make your teeth more prone to decay. Diet drinks are therefore potentially just as harmful to your teeth( not to mention the artificial sweeteners).
When low-pH foods with phosphoric acid make contact with your teeth, your enamel begins to dissolve and soften, paving the path to decay. Softened tooth enamel can promote plaque formation, which then leads to further enamel erosion. If damage from phosphoric acid becomes severe, erosion may spread under your enamel and into the layer of dentine below, causing sensitivity and toothaches.
You can reduce the impact of phosphoric acid on your teeth by changing the way you consume soda and other foods with this ingredient. Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth, rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda, limiting your soda intake to one serving per day, and drinking phosphoric acid-containing beverages only at mealtime. In addition, drinking soda quickly rather than sipping it slowly can reduce the exposure phosphoric acid has with your teeth.
Although you can take measures to protect your teeth from phosphoric acid in beverages, you may want to avoid such drinks for other reasons .Fizzy drinks typically contain additive dye, caffeine and large amounts of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides empty calories without any nutrition. Even sugar-free sodas may be mildly addictive if they contain caffeine. In addition, MayoClinic.com notes that sodas may be linked to kidney stones, other forms of kidney disease, high blood pressure, excess weight gain in the midsection and insulin resistance. Choosing beverages without phosphoric acid, such as milk or fruit juice, can help you avoid damage from soda while also obtaining more vitamins and minerals.
Here is a thought –
Will manufacturers of tomato ketchup, breakfast cereal, fruit yogurt , biscuits, chocolates cakes ,processed foods and baby formula milk now consider reducing the sugar content in their products?
During the summer, you’re probably going to attend a lot of parties, and with parties come a variety of beverages and snacks. Summertime drinks include soda, sports drinks, white wine, beer, and lemonade, and these drinks are loaded with sugar. A simple tip for counteracting the effects of these beverages, however, is to rinse your mouth with water regularly throughout the party. But don’t brush your teeth too soon after consuming acidic beverages. These drinks can soften enamel, and brushing while the enamel is soft can do more damage. Wait at least an hour before you brush!
Party foods can be dark in color and full of sugar as well. Dark foods contribute to stained teeth, and we all know what happens when you eat too much sugar! Cavities! But by rinsing your mouth after eating these dark and sugary foods, you can avoid staining and cavities — and a trip to the dentist during your summer for teeth whitening and an examination can give your smile a boost!
It’s pretty simple to keep your smile in shape during these summer months. Brushing, flossing, rinsing after food or drink, and regular trips to the dentist can help keep you looking and feeling your best. Now you just have to figure out how to stay cool.If summer does eventually arrive.
Post your comment or contact the Harrow Dental Centre via our website http://www.harrow-dentist.com or call our office on 020 84272543
With acknowledgements to Best Dentist News
The impression is deceptive: Bubble tea is considered healthy but, as a matter of fact, it contains a high amount of sugar and calories
by Dental Tribune International
FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Germany: Bubble tea shops are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, as the Taiwanese trend spreads, criticism has grown. Dentists have now once again strongly cautioned that the consumption of sweetened drinks can lead to an increased risk of caries.
While the drink is called “tea” and has a tea base, it also contains milk, sugar syrup and artificial flavours. A cup of the beverage contains up to 500 calories and 20 to 30 cubes of sugar. Extremely sweet flavours with milk have an even higher sugar content than Coke.
Especially for children, the high number of calories and high amount of sugar is dangerous and can lead to tooth decay and obesity. “Because of the fresh fruits on the billboards and the label ‘tea’, many parents think the coloured sugar drinks are a harmless or even healthy way to get children to drink more. The caries risk and the many calories are simply overlooked. It has to be stated quite clearly that bubble tea is a heavily sweetened soft drink and not a sugar-free and therefore pro-dental health drink,” Dr Antje Köster-Schmidt, board member of the dental association of the state of Hessen,Germany, commented.
Other German institutions have also cautioned against uninformed consumption of bubble tea. The Alliance’90/The Greens political party recently submitted 35 questions regarding the drink to the federal government, requesting an investigation into health concerns mainly.
The German consumer protection authority, a large German insurance company and the Professional Association of Paediatricians have also raised the alarm. “The popular drink is dangerous for young children. Sucking the peanut-sized balls through a straw requires significant suction. If the balls enter the lungs via the trachea, this could lead to pneumonia or lung collapse,” the association’s president, Dr Wolfram Hartmann, told the German news website Spiegel Online. As reported by the magazine, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment does not officially consider the tea a health risk but warns that there is a risk of inhaling foreign objects into the lungs, particularly for children younger than four.
A test recently carried out by the German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest found that the majority of the teas contain tartrazine (E102) and Allura Red AC (E129), which, according to the organisation, are thought to cause hyperactivity and attention deficits in children
For further information contact the Harrow Dental Centre via our web site http://www.harrow-dentist.com or call us on 020 84272543