Will La Croix Ruin Your Teeth?
Recently, dental hygienist Gina, did a little experiment to find out if La Croix will ruin ones teeth. Gina stated that she typically drinks one can a day of the fizzy beverage. As a dental professional, she loves La Croix due to the fact that it has minimal ingredients, no sugar, and no carbs which are usually red flags when it comes to drinks. However, there is one ingredient that most people don’t know about that can cause damage to tooth enamel which is carbonic acid.
It is important here to quickly review how tooth decay forms. First, a tooth and sugar/carbohydrate must be present along with bacteria to break down those ingredients. When bacteria breaks down the food you eat, it creates an acidic environment in your mouth. During that time, the teeth are more susceptible to getting a cavity. If you are constantly eating or sipping on sugary, sticky, or acidic foods/beverages throughout the day, the teeth will eventually start to break down and get tooth decay or enamel erosion. Enamel erosion is a condition in which the tooth enamel wears away slowly over time. Erosion can cause tooth sensitivity and the teeth will begin to have a yellow appearance.
For Gina’s experiment, she used pH testing strips to test the pH level of La Croix along with several other popular drinks. The pH scale ranges from 1-14 with 7 being neutral. A pH of 1-6 is acidic and 8-14 is alkaline. In relation to dentistry, studies have shown that constant exposure to food and drink that lower the oral pH to 5.5 over time can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay. Therefore, if you are exposing your teeth to acidic and sugary foods all day long without allowing time for your saliva to regulate the oral pH back to neutral, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay. There’s a saying in dentistry, “Sip all day, get decay.”
The results of the pH testing are as follows:
- La Croix (Limoncello): ~6
- Spindrift sparkling water (Grapefruit): ~4-5
- Bud Light Selzer (Strawberry Daiquiri): ~4
- Kombucha: ~4
- Water: ~7
It is important to note there are a variety of testing strips some with more detailed ranges.
In Gina’s professional opinion, it’s best not to sip all day on drinks with a pH less than 6 due to the risk of tooth decay and erosion. The gold standard drink to sip on throughout the day will always be plain water. In conclusion, when consumed in moderation, La Croix will not cause tooth decay or erosion. You’re safe to enjoy!