Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water, fizzy water, and seltzer water is plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved. This process, carbonation, results in the formation of an acid called carbonic acid. Unless they're flavored with citric or other acids, carbonated waters tend to have more neutral pH values than soft drinks like Coke. However, any acid can gradually wear away tooth enamel. Other foods and beverages that are acidic include coffee, red, white or rose wine, fruit and fruit juice including orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and tomato. These foods, although acidic in nature, become alkaline in our bodies (a good thing) and aid the digestive process. Bad for the teeth but good for the body!
Even though sugar isn’t necessarily high in acid, it promotes growth of acid creating bacteria creating an acidic environment. Especially bad for your teeth are acidic or sour gummies and sour candies. It’s always a good idea to rinse the mouth with water after eating anything acidic. Most drinking water has a pH of 6.5-9 so it helps neutralize the mouth after eating or drinking something acidic.
0-7 pH = acidic
7-14 = basic/alkaline
Here’s the pH of some common bottled waters with a low acid content.
Pellegrino (pH 5.3) Naturally carbonated
Perrier (pH 5.5) Naturally carbonated
Poland spring (pH 6.3)
Volvic (pH 7.0 )
Arrowhead (pH 7.1)
Dasani (pH 7.2)
Smart water (pH 7.2)
Voss (pH 7.3)
Evian (pH 7.4)
Fiji (pH 7.5)
Zephyrhills (pH 7.6)
Dannon (pH 7.8)
Icelandic Glacial (pH 8.3)
Incidentally, club soda is artificially carbonated water to which sodium salts and/or potassium salts have been added. These can include table salt and sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda). These alkaline substances are added to carbonated water to neutralize its acidity and to mimic the flavors of naturally occurring mineral water.
Mary Sieruta, RD, MS, LDN, CDE
Mary Sieruta is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been a Registered Dietitian with the Community Health Center for nine years.