The Trick to Protect Your Teeth From Your LaCroix Addiction (Without Giving It Up)

Here, the right way to drink fizzy water. Because yes, there IS a right way.

If you were to peek into my recycling bin on trash day, you would see the signs of a true LaCroix addict: cans upon cans upon CANS of coconut-flavored LaCroix piled high, with the occasional chickpea pasta box thrown in the mix. But mostly LaCroix cans.

My dentist probably wouldn’t approve: Last year, the Atlantic pointed out that the carbonic acid in seltzer or sparkling water (the stuff that gives it that addictive fizz) can wear away at your tooth enamel. One of the dentists they spoke with said that, for the average person, a love for non-sugary carbonated drinks probably wouldn’t be the leading cause for the death of their cavity-free status, but depending on how much sugar and acid is in your diet, it could contribute.

Say it with me: NOOOOOOO. But the good news: As the Huffington Post pointed out yesterday, when it comes to acidic drinks and your teeth, it’s more about how you drink them, not necessarily how much of them you drink.

The Huffington Post chatted with Mark Wolff, the chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at NYU’s College of Dentistry, and he pointed out this tidbit: It’s not so much how much of an acidic beverage you drink, it’s how long you nurse it for. As Wolff told the Huffington Post, “It’s only a big deal if [the carbonated beverage] sits and roasts on the teeth hour after hour. If I leave a bottle of seltzer next to me and I drink it for the next two hours, I’ve actually bathed my teeth in acid for two solid hours.” Bathed. Your. Teeth. In. Acid. Ack! Instead, he says, the trick is to down your sparkling water fix (it seems this would apply to your coffee fix, too) within five to 10 minutes rather than sipping on it for hours. Within 30 minutes of drinking it, he says, your tooth enamel will have begun to heal itself. (The body is a magical machine, isn’t it?)

And whatever you do, don’t brush your teeth right after downing a can. This just wears the tooth enamel down more. Happy (tooth-friendly) guzzling!

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