Sparkling waters are refreshing, delicious, pretty to look at, and really fun to pronounce (La Croix, duh) -- but a new study suggests that they may actually be bad for your pearly whites.
You may think that sparkling water is a healthier alternative to soda because it has very little sugar, but your La Croix or Poland Spring dependency may be chipping away at your precious tooth enamel.
The Food Network sat with Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett — spokesperson for the American Dental Association — and he shed some light on this topic:
The dental safety of sparkling water is not a heavily researched area. What we do know, however, is that many commonly consumed beverages... are, to varying degrees, acidic, as measured by their pH. We know that frequent consumption of acidic beverages can cause erosion of tooth enamel. The flavoring additives in many sparkling waters cause them to be acidic and must thus be viewed as potentially erosive.
SAY IT AIN'T SO.
Don't throw out your sparkling water just yet, though. What erodes the enamel on your teeth is actually artificial flavorings, which are normally acidic -- not the carbonation found in the drink.
So if you stick to unflavored sparkling waters, like Perrier or San Pellegrino, you're in the clear because these waters "have very low erosive potential and do not pose a risk to tooth enamel," says Hewlett.
Still, drinking soda is far worse for your teeth than drinking flavored sparkling water and Hewlett assures that the key to drinking your favorite sparkling waters (like Grapefruit La Croix) is moderation.
And when you do drink your flavored sparkling water, go back to your college days and chug your drink, rather than sip it for an extended period (seriously, Hewlett says so).
There you have it, folks: You don't need to throw out your new case of La Croix, just make sure to enjoy them in moderation and drink a lot of fluoride water in between.