Does seltzer water rot your teeth?

I’ve managed to completely cut out soft drinks from my diet, but remain addicted to seltzer water. I drink 4 - 5 glasses a day. According to a friend of mine, the carbon dioxide forms carbonic acid when disolved in water (this is true – I found which does state small amounts of carbonic acid are formed).
What I don’t know is whether the amount of acid, given the quantity I’m drinking, is actually enough over time to damage teeth. Anyone got any thoughts on the subject?

I wasn’t qualified to answer this question until my dentist’s office called to reschedule my appointment and I had the opportunity to ask her this question!

She (Dr. Lakhar) said this: “Carbonic acid does not rot teeth or wear away enamel. Sugar does. If the seltzer water contains sugar, you are at risk for tooth damage. Brush after drinking sugarry substances. Floss every morning and every night. And stop chewing your nails!”

If the carbon dioxide forms carbonic acid
when disolved in water then that air you breathe out full of C02 mixing with spit would do the same thing, but it doesn’t, see?

You don’t form carbonic acid when you breathe, because it only forms when carbon dioxide and water mix under pressure. Thus, there is some amount of acid in carbonated water – the question is how much?

I thought the question was if the carbonic acid produced would damage your teeth.

Maybe I need Alphagene’s glasses so I can see the screen.

Well, OK. To be fair the chain of questions is:

  1. Does the carbon dioxide form carbonic acid when dissolved in a soda can. I’m convinced the answer to this is yes.

  2. What amount of carbonic acid is produced, and remains after the can is opened and the pressure is released at least long enough to come into contact with your teeth?

  3. Is the amount of acid in #2 sufficient to cause damage to teeth, given an application of 3-4 times a day?

The answer to #3 is no. See my first response. Thank you.

Of couse real soft drinks are triple threat, because they contain phoshate and caffeine which cause calcium loss and which sugar which causes tooth decay.

Real cute, Mel.

Next time you see Dr. Lakhar, I hope her saliva suction thingie gets permanently stuck under your tongue.


Back off, man. I’m a scientist.