Trendy “Soda” Is Bad for Teeth

We’re always looking for new, great ways to stay hydrated. Being hydrated is essential for health and maintaining stable blood sugar. As we sweat, it can be harder to remain properly hydrated in the summer, and we need to drink more. But, so many delicious drinks are bad for us. The best option is always water. It’s a neutral option that helps flush your system and keep your organs at peak condition. However, we all want choices.

As soda is high in sugar and diet soda carries health concerns of its own, people look for alternatives. Our team’s top choice for a soda alternative is plain sparkling water. You get the fizz with none of the sugar. There’s a persistent rumor that it’s bad for teeth. However, the American Dental Association says that simply isn’t true. A new trend has been sweeping the internet as people search for the best new “soda” drink. People are calling balsamic vinegar mixed with sparkling water “healthy Coke.”

At first, it seemed like a joke, but the slight sweetness of balsamic vinegar can pair with sparkling water to make an interesting drink. There’s one big problem with it: it’s terrible for teeth. Sparkling water is slightly acidic but considered perfectly fine for teeth. Blending it with a strong acid like vinegar is not.

I love balsamic vinegar, but I enjoy it more on my salad than in my drinking glass. It’s much kinder to the teeth than bathing them in a beverage blend of two acids,” said ADA spokesperson Dr. Edmond Hewlett in a statement with the new study. “The more acidic the drink, the greater the risk of tooth erosion with frequent consumption.”

The stickiness of the balsamic vinegar will adhere to your teeth long after you’ve finished your meal, and the acidity has a dual effect of wearing away at your tooth enamel and staining your teeth,” said dentist Marc Sclafani. “Honestly, I would rather just have people drink a regular can of Coke.”

Damaging tooth enamel can lead to cavities, discoloration, oral infections and sensitive teeth. Highly acidic or sweet drinks should be avoided to keep teeth healthy and strong.

If you have tried this and love it, there are things you can do to lessen the impact the drink has on oral health. These tips can be used for drinking any sweet or acidic beverages. Drinking with a straw gets harmful beverages past your teeth. Rinse your mouth after drinking acidic or sweet drinks, or eat a dairy product. Brushing your teeth an hour after you drink using an enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help. But, let your saliva clean your mouth first and promote spit production with sugarless gum. And finally, it’s always important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss.  

Sometimes “health” foods can be a double-edged sword. This drink may be almost calorie- and sugar-free. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy alternative to soda. We’ve suggested a lot of great options over the years. Trends on the internet can often be questionable. Sticking to water, unflavored sparkling water and unsweetened iced teas will probably be your healthiest ways of staying cool and hydrated this summer.  

Banner image: Blake Wisz via Unsplash

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