People are well aware of the wide-ranging and potential hazards caused by sodas and processed juices. The sugar content, additives, and enhancers present in them deteriorate the corporal wellbeing of the individual especially, the dental health.
People nowadays, opt for flavored water drinks as a healthy choice, however, flavored water might just be as bad for the teeth as those usual soft drinks.
Flavored water is something more than just water. It has subtle flavors infused into it with little or no sugar. Flavored water drinks are possibly less acidic as compare to the common commercial drinks. They are available in various flavors such as strawberry, kiwi, raspberry, and watermelon.
Experts have noted a significant increase in the sales of flavored water over the years. In addition, the researchers have revealed that flavored water undergoes the process of carbonation. However, the experts have also mentioned that these drinks are mostly added with acidic flavors which might serve as a contributing factor in damaging the dental health of the consumer.
A recent study declared the flavored sparkling water to exhibit acidic properties that were proven to be harmful to the teeth. A team of researchers from the University of Birmingham School of Dentistry and the Birmingham Dental Hospital in the U.K. examined samples of flavored sparkling water. They found that the specimens had appreciable acidic content of about 0.344 to 0.663 mmol. In addition, the pH levels of the drinks ranged between 2.74 and 3.34. Moreover, the samples showed the erosive potential between 89 percent & 143 percent. The researchers thus, concluded that flavored water drinks are potentially erosive, and should be labeled as potentially acidic beverages. The results were published in the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry.
Professor Edmond R. Hewlett, a renowned health expert and the consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, accredited these drinks for the incremental dissolution of the enamel. According to him, these drinks disrupt the structural integrity of the teeth making them hypersensitive to temperature and rendering them more cavity-prone. Hewlett is also serving as a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry.
Professor Hewlett has advised a few key steps, to prevent the erosion of the enamel induced by the flavored beverage, which are as follow,
- People should not make flavored water their primary source of hydration
- The beverage must be drunk faster to avoid the swishing of the carbonated water
- The drink must be consumed with a meal or snack to stimulate the flow of acid-neutralizing saliva.
According to Hewlett and co-experts, these step can minimize the erosion of the enamel ensuring a good dental health.
The pH level of a drink is crucial to determine whether it would be corrosive to the teeth or not. Any beverage with a pH level lower than four is declared harmful for the teeth because lower the pH levels, greater will be the acidity thus higher will be the chances of dental damage. The carbonation processing of the flavored water drinks lowers their pH to five. This would have been safe for consumption, but the addition of flavors lower the pH further which may cause the removal of calcium from the teeth.
According to the statistical data of a study, conducted last year, the plain sparkling water was declared to have a pH of five. In addition, the un-carbonated flavored waters including grape, lemon or strawberry Dasani were said to have a pH of three. On the other hand, the RC Cola had 2.32 and Coca-Cola at 2.37 of pH. Thus these drinks were claimed to cause the similar harms that these Colas possibly could. However, the co-author of the study, Dr. John Ruby said that carbonation in itself may not damage the enamel.