If You Are What You Drink, Does the Water You Drink Effect Your Teeth?

August 18, 2014

Bottled water is better. Better than what? Better than tap water? Better than soda? Sure. And I suppose I could write another blog about the horrible effects soda has on teeth but I already have and most people are at least partially aware of the detrimental effects of soda. I try to bring you information that might not be so obvious and which may help you to have better dental health so I am addressing bottled water.

Is All Water the Same?

I am not going to get into the economics of people who complain about spending $4.00 for a gallon of gas and then pick up a pint of bottled water for $1.25 at the mini mart paying the equivalent of $10.00 a gallon for water. Nor am I a radical environmentalist. I do care about the environment and the mountains of plastic bottles used can not be good for mother nature. What I do care about passionately is your health, that is my professional obligation and personal mission. As a dentist my main concern is for your dental health and the water you drink can make a difference.The controversy surrounding flouridation is too complex to deal with in this blog. I am simply going to address how the acidity of the water you drink effects your teeth. All water may be created equal but when processed and bottled things change. If we are to believe the bottlers those changes are always for the better but I think not. I used to be happy just to get people to switch from soda to bottled water not anymore.

What is the Best Water to Drink for your Teeth?

More recently I have come to the conclusion it does matter the water you drink. I am not a water expert. Nor do I have specific research studies on types of water or the effects on teeth but basic science and my own personal experience with acid fluids ie. soda, does support my concerns. You do not need a chemistry degree to understand acid, the ph scale and how its effects on your teeth. The concept is simple: the Ph measures the amount of acid in liquids and the lower the number the more acid. The dentin, the softer part of the tooth starts to melt at a ph of 6.5, the enamel, the hard part of the tooth melts at a ph of 5.5. So any fluid with a ph lower than 6.5 begins the process of melting the tooth structure. So look at the chart below and note how many types of bottled water are acidic enough to damage your teeth. Many are not much better than soda. Another thing about the ph scale; it is logarithmic meaning a factor of ten; every point represents 10 times greater. So a ph of 4 is 100 times more acid than a 6 and 1000 times more acid than neutral 7. Bathing your teeth in acid is not good and leads to erosion and decay.

Acid levels (+ or – 10%)
Low = BAD neutral= 7.0 over 7.0 = Good
Alkalized Ionized water 9.5 to 11.5
Pepsi 2.3
Penta Water 4
Distilled Water 4
Purified Water 4
Aquafina (made by Pepsi) 4
Dasani (made by Coke) 4
Glaceau Fruit Water 4
Le Blue Water 4
Metro Mint Water 4
Pellegrino 4
Perrier 4
Smart Water 4
Vitamin Water 4
Reverse Osmosis Water and Purified water 4.5 – 6.0 (depending on source)
Ice Age Glacial Water 4.5
Appalachian Springs Water 5
Poland Springs Water 5
Pure American Water 5.5
Dannon Spring Water 5.5
7.0 Teeth start to melt at 6.5 ph so above this line all waters cause tooth structure softening
Crystal Geyser Water 7
Deep Park Water 7
Eldorado Springs Water 7
Supermarket Spring Water 7
Biota water 7.5
Fiji Water 7.5
Whole Foods 365 Water 7.5
Zephyrhills Water



Carlsbad Mineral Springs





Carlsbad’s own Water

So what do I recommend: drink water that has a high ph..less acid. You may also have noticed the latest health craze is “alkalinized water” which is promoted for its healthy effects because of its low acid i.e. high ph. The alkaline water can be produced by expensive home water systems or found as the most expensive water on the supermarket shelves.

historic Carlsbad Water photo

Although the Municipal water is not acidic the simplest, best tasting and least expensive way to drink alkaline water is to purchase it from the Carlsbad Mineral Spring. Yes this is the same water whose healing medicinal qualities gave Carlsbad its name. The history of the water source and its contributions to Carlsbad make interesting reading at the Carlsbad Historical Society. You can find more information about all the healing qualities at the Carlsbad Mineral Springs site or just talk to one of the owners Ludwig or his son Kevin. These guys are the experts on water and very helpful. The water from the Carlsbad spring has a ph of 8.7 ( low in acid i.e. alkaline), inexpensive and I like to support local businesses. I know it will do your teeth good. It also helps my acid reflux.

Carlbad Mineral spring 2014