Food | Health | Did You Know

Drinking Flavored Water Is Harming Your Teeth, Says American Dental Association

The more experts share the results of their studies, the more it seems like everything we eat and drink is harming us in more ways than we can imagine.

Apparently meat products are laden with ammonia and harmful organisms, fried potatoes could lower your life expectancy and even the beloved avocado has been shown to have some negative effects on your health.

But nothing wreaks more havoc on your system as much as sugary food and drinks such as sodas do. Even the supposedly healthy diet varieties can negatively affect your well-being.

In many cases it is a no-brainer for people to ditch the soda for sparkling water, but a new revelation might make you think twice about that decision.

Dr. Edward R. Hewlett, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association told the Food Network that sparkling water may be causing harm that many of us weren't aware of.

There's a good chance that flavored water, sparkling or still could be taking a toll on your teeth.

Click on the next page to find out how flavored H2O could be bad for smile.

Dr. Hewlett, who is also a professor of restorative dentistry at the UCLA School of Dentistry thinks it is important for fans of flavored water to understand the effects it can have on their dental health especially with the rising popularity of brands like La Croix, Ice and Poland Spring.

Despite being touted as healthy alternatives to sugary drinks, flavored water can contain high levels of acid that can potentially erode the tooth enamel.

Sparkling Ice

The dental expert confirmed that it is indeed the flavoring of the drinks, not the carbonation that lowers the PH which in turn affects the teeth.

"Laboratory studies have shown that (unflavored) waters, be they still or sparkling, have very low erosive potential and do not pose a risk to tooth enamel," explained Dr. Hewlett.

The disadvantages of having weakened enamel include increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and risk of cavities.

Despite this revelation, Dr. Hewlett says the benefits of drinking flavored water outweighs the risks and shouldn't cause problems if enjoyed in moderation.

"While there is no defined “OK” amount of flavored water to drink, we know that it is important to minimize the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to any acidic beverage. It is safer for the teeth to chug than to sip, sip, sip for a prolonged time."

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He advises drinking flavored water through a straw and avoid "holding or swishing a gulp of sparkling beverage in the mouth before swallowing."

If you want to avoid dealing with teeth problems down the line, Dr. Hewlett says stick to plain fluoridated water as it is "the healthiest beverage for teeth — it fights cavities!"

Do you drink flavored waters? Share your thoughts in the comments!

[H/T: Food Network]

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.