Flavored Water Might Be Tasty, But It Can Be Bad For Your Teeth

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s good for your skin. It’s good for your overall health. It’s even good for your kidneys. And many city residents have apparently gotten the message, saying they drink good old New York tap water.

But some people need a little flavor in their lives, such as lime or raspberry, to drink enough water. There’s just one problem with that approach, though.

“Those are all flavors that are generated from citric acid, and they actually make the water acid,” Dr. Mark Wolff of the NYU School of Dentistry told CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.

Even unflavored club soda or seltzer water is acidic from the carbonation. And those acidic waters can actually lead to tooth problems.

“Every dentist now sees it,” Wolff said. “It is a slow loss of the enamel, where it thins right at the gum line, and then it makes the tooth start looking longer, but what’s happened is we’ve lost the enamel there.”

That leads to tooth sensitivity, and if it goes on, possible tooth loss.

To drive home the point, Wolff did a pH test on plain bottled water, canned seltzer and orange-flavored carbonated water.

“When the carbonated beverage first touches the tooth, it’s very, very acidic, and it slowly, as it loses the fizz, becomes more neutral and goes back to plain water.”

So how might this information affect a flavored water drinker?

“I won’t drink flavored water if it’s bad for my teeth,” one woman told Gomez. “I would (drink plain water), and thank you for teaching me that.”

Flavored water drinkers could drink through a straw — that avoids most of the contact with teeth. Or they can make their own less acidic flavored water with a slice of cucumber, melon or a few strawberries.

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