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In recent years, flavored water has surged in popularity as a seemingly healthier alternative to sugary sodas and juices. Marketed as a refreshing way to stay hydrated while enjoying a burst of flavor, flavored water has become a staple in many households. But amidst its rising popularity, a pertinent question arises: Is flavored water safe for teeth? Our Oak Park IL dentist explains.

Do you have a question about your smile? Ask Dr. Thomas W. Wegner at Town & Country Dental today! You can reach our 5-star Oak Park IL dentist at (708) 383-0330 for information, advice, and appointments.  

What is flavored water?

To answer this question, it’s crucial to understand what flavored water actually is. Flavored water (also known as water additives or enhanced water) typically consists of plain water infused with various flavors, colors, and sometimes added nutrients or vitamins

While some flavored waters are simply enhanced with natural fruit extracts, others may contain artificial sweeteners, acids, and other additives.

Tooth-Destroying Ingredients

When it comes to water additives, some ingredients are more harmful than others. According to our Oak Park, IL, dentist, these are the ingredients to look out for:


Many flavored waters (especially those with added fruit flavors) contain citric acid and other acids to enhance taste. These acids lower the pH level of the water, making it more acidic. 

Unfortunately, frequent consumption of acidic beverages can strip the protective enamel on teeth, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity.


Another common tooth-destroying ingredient found in flavored water is sugar. Bacteria in the mouth feast on sugars and produce acidic waste that attacks tooth enamel, ultimately leading to cavities and dental erosion.

Artificial Ingredients

Some flavored waters contain artificial colors and preservatives, which may not directly harm teeth but can potentially impact overall oral health

Certain artificial colors have been linked to hyperactivity in children and may have other adverse health effects

Additionally, preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate have been associated with oral health issues such as mouth ulcers and allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Impact on Dental Health

So, how do these ingredients affect the overall health of teeth?


The acids found in flavored water can erode tooth enamel over time, making teeth more susceptible to decay, sensitivity, and discoloration.

Our Oak Park, IL, dentist recommends drinking flavored water quickly rather than sipping slowly over time. The longer acid sits on teeth, the more effect it has on dental enamel. So, drink up and rinse your mouth with fresh water afterward!


Sugar contributes to the growth of microbes in the mouth. These microbes produce acidic waste, which threatens the health of tooth enamel

Our Oak Park, IL, dentist recommends choosing water additives with sugar-free sweeteners, such as xylitol or sucralose

Artificial Ingredients

While not directly harmful to teeth, artificial colors and preservatives found in flavored water may have systemic effects on overall health, which can indirectly impact oral health.

Additionally, individuals with sensitivities or allergies to these additives may experience adverse reactions in the mouth.

Visit a 5-Star Oak Park IL Dentist Today

While flavored water may seem like a refreshing and healthy choice, it’s essential to be mindful of its potential impact on dental health. Opting for plain water or unsweetened beverages is generally the best choice for maintaining optimal oral health

Want to learn more? Discuss dental nutrition with Dr. Wegner at your next dental appointment. You can schedule appointments online or by calling Town & Country Dental at (708) 383-0330.