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SodaStream…a Healthier Choice?
SodaStream is becoming increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to soft drinks and juices. It is marketed as being “better for you and your family, fresh and convenient, great value for money and better for the environment” (www.sodastream.com.au).
Although these claims are valid to some extent, there is scientific evidence to prove that the Carbon dioxide used to create the fizz in SodaStream has a destructive effect on tooth enamel called erosion.
Erosion of tooth enamel is defined as the physical result of dental hard tissue being chemically stripped away from the tooth surface by acid. Studies have shown that dietary habits accompanied by excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages increase enamel erosion.
Signs of erosion include tooth sensitivity to cold, or hot due to the thinning of the enamel. Teeth may become more yellow or darker and appear glossy. Teeth become more prone to decay due to the loss of the enamel which acts as a protective layer.
Patients are reporting that plain water is “a bit boring” and they enjoy the bubbly refreshing feeling that they get when drinking Soda water. They love the convenience of having it within reach at any time of the day. Many patients have noticed that they have increased their fluid intake since purchasing a SodaStream.
While staying hydrated throughout the day is very important, sipping and swishing the soda water around in the mouth multiple times a day is a dangerous behaviour when it comes to tooth wear.
There are some steps patients can take to prevent dental erosion such as:
- Use a straw when drinking. This way the acidic drink does not come directly into contact with the teeth.
- Any acidic drinks are best consumed with a meal because during eating saliva flow is increased. Saliva helps with neutralising the acids and helps remineralise the enamel.
- Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 40 minutes after consuming acidic foods or drinks as the enamel is softened due to the acid exposure and can be brushed away. Rinsing with plain water is recommended instead.
- Chewing sugar-free gum is a good way of stimulating saliva flow. Saliva is able to neutralise and buffer the effects of acid on tooth enamel.
- Reduced saliva flow can increase the risk of erosion. Causes of dry mouth include dehydration, some medical conditions, and medication.
- There are some professional dental products that can be used to help prevent or manage erosion. You can get more advice on what products are right for you by consulting with your Dentist or Dental Hygienist.
For the best dental health, tap water is the best.
K1 Dental, Toorak
Ryu HK, Kim YD, Heo SS, Kim SC. Effect of carbonated water manufactured by a soda carbonator on etched or sealed enamel. Korean J Orthod. 2018;48(1):48-56. doi:10.4041/kjod.2018.48.1.48
Dental Health Services Victoria website – https://www.dhsv.org.au/professionals/health-promotion-resources/fact-sheets-and-tip-cards
SodaStream Australia website – https://www.sodastream.com.au