There's no question that seltzers and flavored sparkling waters — especially LaCroix and Topo Chico — are having a moment. Many folks have switched over the the lightly-flavored, fizzy drinks in favor of sugary soft drinks that are terrible for the teeth... but those who have made the change may want to think twice before they guzzle down another can.
According to the American Dental Association, drinking a lot of flavored water may erode tooth enamel and make it easier for you to develop cavities and other dental problems. As Delish reports, The Food Network recently spoke to Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, who said some of the flavors in sparkling water beverages like LaCroix are acidic — and acidic drinks wear away tooth enamel.
When that happens, your teeth are more vulnerable to developing cavities and can become more sensitive to hot and cold. Cavities are also a risk if you're regularly picking up sweetened carbonated beverages so be sure to check your seltzer water for hidden additives.
While lightly-flavored or unflavored sparkling water beverages are miles better for your mouth than highly acidic drinks like soda or orange juice, they still may not be great for your teeth. Even unflavored sparkling drinks, like club soda and mineral water, can cause problems, thanks to the very thing that makes them sparkling: pressurized carbon dioxide.
Carbonated water, along with sodas and other bubbly beverages, get their fizz from carbon dioxide; however, as The Today Show reports, a chemical reaction takes place in your mouth that turns that CO2 into carbonic acid, which — you guessed it — can erode tooth enamel if you're regularly drinking sparkling water.
It is a myth that carbonation increases calcium loss in your bones after a 2006 study to determine what a high consumption of cola and other carbonated beverages would do to bone mineral density. The study determined that while cola was associated with low bone mineral density in women, it was phosphorous that caused this, not carbonation.
Carbonated water can also cause bloating and gas, leading to flare-ups if you're prone to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Plain carbonated water sans sweeteners and additives won't make you gain weight, though if you regularly pick up tonic water or a variety with added sugar and sodium, you might want to be aware of extra calories over time if weight gain is a concern.
Treat fizzy water and sparkling mineral water like soda pop and exercise cautious when you go to pick up your third can of the day. Sometimes, plain water is what your body really needs.
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