Bad News: Seltzer Water Is Rotting Your Teeth

Put down that Pellegrino now.

Thanks to countless food documentaries, health posts and fitness articles educating us about what we should drink and what to avoid, I think we can all agree that soft drinks are pure evil. They are full of empty calories, contain WAY too much sugar, and on top of that, they’re addictive.

But the list of things we can’t guzzle only seems to be growing longer. And I hate to break it to you, but the fine-to-drink list now also doesn’t include seltzer water.

And here we all were thinking seltzer water was just water with bubbles.

As it turns out though, fizzy water contains carbonic acid – that’s what gives it that tingly feeling on our tongues that we love so much (and makes us feel less left out when our friends are all enjoying vodka tonics). The bad news is, carbonic acid damages tooth enamel. Like, really badly.

In a 2007 study, researchers exposed teeth to flavored seltzer water for 30 minutes and found that it had a corrosive effect comparable to that of orange juice. Of course, your teeth only come in contact with the fluid for a few seconds when you take a sip, however, if you do this every day, it’s not looking good for your teeth.

“It would be inappropriate to consider these flavored sparkling waters as a healthy dental alternative to other acidic drinks,” the researchers concluded.

The advice of dentists is to keep your consumption of sparking water limited to meal times and drink plain water in between. And if you absolutely cannot live without it, you can do your teeth a favor by diluting it in some plain H2O. Toothpaste containing fluoride will also help support your enamel.

But before you pour gallons of your exxy San Pellegrino down the drain, just remember a glass every now and then will most likely not do any harm. So drink up, but not regularly.