There’s an old expression that goes “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet”—and this adage certainly holds true when it comes to some of the trends and fads circulating around social media platforms like TikTok. One of the latest trends involves mixing flavored sparkling water with balsamic vinegar, and some claim that it’s a healthier alternative to soda. But research shows that this drink isn’t exactly good for your teeth, given that it’s still highly acidic! Here’s more from your dentist about how acidic beverages can harm your smile, along with some tips for counteracting it.
How Soft Drinks Harm Your Smile
When you drink sodas or other sugary beverages, the high amounts of sugar interact with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid then attacks your teeth—in fact, with each swig of soda, you’re starting a damaging reaction that lasts for about 20 minutes. This means if you’re sipping soda all day, your smile is under constant siege! There are two main dental effects of drinking soda:
- Erosion – This begins when the acids in soft drinks encounter tooth enamel, which is the outermost protective layer of your teeth. The surface hardness of the enamel is reduced, which weakens your teeth. And this process is unfortunately irreversible!
- Cavities – The layer underneath the enamel, known as the dentin, can also be affected. Cavities develop over time in people who drink soft drinks regularly, as well as people with poor oral hygiene.
TikTok’s Alternative to Soda That’s Tough on Teeth
However, it isn’t just sodas and soft drinks that are tough on teeth; any type of beverage that’s highly sugary or acidic can cause damage to your enamel, including the sparkling water/balsamic vinegar mixture that’s been blowing up TikTok lately. Balsamic vinegar on its own isn’t too acidic—but if you combine it with sparkling water, which is another acidic liquid, the end result will spell bad news for your pearly whites! It can also lead to tooth discoloration as the outer layer of enamel is worn away and the dentin underneath is revealed.
Tips for Preventing Acid Erosion Damage
One of the best things you can do to prevent acid erosion damage to your teeth is to simply stop drinking soda! However, if you can’t bring yourself to kick the habit just yet, here are some other things you can take to lessen the risk of damage to your teeth:
- Enjoy soft drinks in moderation; try to avoid having more than one per day.
- Drink your beverage quickly, to lessen the amount of time it’s in contact with your teeth. Drinking through a straw can also help with this.
- Rinse your mouth with water after finishing your drink.
- Wait about 30 – 60 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Avoid soft drinks before bedtime.
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Consider alternatives to soda, other than the TikTok trend. Diet sodas, for example, have less sugar than their regular counterparts. Milk, water, unsweetened tea, and diluted juice are better options.
About the Practice
Lakeside Daytona Dentist serves patients and families in Daytona Beach under the leadership of Dr. Gladston Silva and Dr. Lisset Gonzalez. Their practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including preventive, cosmetic, restorative options and more. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to contact the practice through their website or over the phone: (386) 274-2021.