Is Sparkling Water Bad For Your Teeth?

January 10th, 2021

Is the satisfying fizz of your favorite sparkling water putting you at risk for tooth decay? Because any drink with carbonation—including sparkling water—has a higher acid level, some reports have questioned whether sipping sparkling water will weaken your tooth enamel (the hard outer shell of your teeth where cavities first form).

So, Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?

According to available research, sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth—and here's why. In a study using teeth that were removed as a part of treatment and donated for research, researchers tested to see whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than regular lab water. The result? The two forms of water were about the same in their effects on tooth enamel. This finding suggests that, even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than ordinary water, it's all just water to your teeth.

Tips for Enjoying Sparkling Water—and Protecting Your Teeth

  • Sparkling water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of regular, fluoridated water, too—it’s the best beverage for your teeth. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away the leftover food cavity-causing bacteria feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).
  • Be mindful of what’s in your sparkling water. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that does increase the risk of damage to your enamel. Plan to enjoy these in one sitting or with meals. This way, you aren’t sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth over and over again to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.
  • Sparkling water brands with added sugar can no longer be considered just sparkling water. They are a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities. So remember—sparkling or not—plain water is always the best choice.

This article can be found from HealthyMouth.Org from the American Dental Association

For an exam, cleaning, or any questions for our dentists, Dr. Jessica Chen and Dr. Daniel Kwong at our Duvall, WA office, please call (425) 318-7689 or email us at

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3 Easy Things To Do Now To Prevent Cavities

October 2nd, 2020

Below are 3 things that are easy to switch up right now to prevent cavities for you and your family.

1- Swap out the between meal beverages for water

There’s a delicate balancing act going on in your mouth all the time. When your oral pH is high, your teeth are better protected and can reabsorb minerals from your saliva that build and strengthen tooth enamel. When you eat or drink, your oral pH drops, becoming more acidic. The acid environment strips minerals from the tooth enamel and weakens it. Your oral pH rises over time after eating and drinking, but if you’re constantly putting more acid pressure on your mouth by drinking and eating with only short intervals between, you are setting yourself up for favorable cavity conditions.

There’s no reason to be thirsty, however, in your quest for a cavity-free smile. Swap out your between-meal beverages for plain water, leaving other drinks as meal-time accompaniments. Plain water will not lower your oral pH, leaving those minerals in your enamel where they belong. As a happy side effect, you may see other health benefits if you are replacing less healthy beverage choices with plain water.


2- Switch up your oral care products

It’s possible that your home oral care routine is not working as hard as you are to maintain your oral health. Does your toothpaste or your oral rinse help balance oral pH? Does your toothpaste contain remineralizing ingredients? Are your products sweetened with xylitol to help build oral health, or are they just sweetened? Oral care products that correct pH, remineralize tooth enamel, and have the added benefits of xylitol are formulated to do a better job keeping teeth healthy.


3- Keep dry mouth in check

The thing about dry mouth is that, even though everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, it really shouldn’t be ignored. Dry mouth is a major risk factor for cavity development. Saliva is the protective substance your body makes to protect tooth health. Not having enough saliva leaves teeth vulnerable and unprotected.


If you experience dry mouth, try sipping water. Chewing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol can provide relief as well. Oral sprays may be an appropriate choice if dry mouth is persistent or caused by medication. Just be sure to select one formulated to relieve dry mouth, not an alcohol containing spray meant just to freshen breath. The drying effects of alcohol can make dry mouth worse.

This article is from the Carifree company, which we believe have excellent science-backed products to help our patients. For more information on the Carifree line of products to help with preventing cavities, please visit

For an exam, cleaning, or any questions for our dentists, Dr. Jessica Chen and Dr. Daniel Kwong at our Duvall, WA office, please call (425) 354-3628 or email us at


What Does My Smile Have Anything To Do With Covid-19?

August 28th, 2020

What Does My Smile Have Anything To Do With Covid-19?

Ongoing research demonstrates repeatedly the close connection between the health of the oral cavity and the development of certain diseases. For example, in recent years researchers believe that there is a strong correlation between inflammation in the mouth, as a response to bacterial plaque, that causes gum disease to type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Therefore, it’s not a leap to wonder in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, how does one’s oral health have an impact with this novel virus?

A recent study published in the British Dental Journal explored the link between oral health and COVID-19 infection, this study identified that known risks from oral bacterial overload, including heart disease and diabetes, are common complications that make COVID-19 illness more severe. They also pointed out the additional risks related to aspirating (inhaling) saliva with a high oral bacterial load for causing pneumonia and other respiratory difficulties. Finally, they examine the link between increased inflammation, a known problem from high oral bacterial load, and poor outcomes in COVID-19. They concluded that oral health should be maintained or improved to preserve overall health during the pandemic.

As always, we encourage you to stay healthy, mask up, wash your hands, brush twice a day and floss daily. For a check-up exam with Drs. Jessica Chen or Daniel Kwong at Duvall Family Dental, please call us at (425) 354-3628, or email at and know that we’ve taken increased precautions, more than required by health authorities, to keep you and our team safe during the pandemic.

Below is a list of the added protocols and precautions we’re taking moving forward, some of which we look to you for understanding and cooperation. We can’t do it without you!

  1. You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via phone, text or email and asked a set of health-related questions. It is required that we complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step.
  2. Personalized arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces. Check-in via the link in your text or by calling us at 425-354-3628.
  3. Payment arrangements will be made in advance to avoid delay and allow contactless exit from appointment.
  4. We ask drivers and parents to wait in the car as we limit the number of people in our building. Young children with appointments may be accompanied by one guardian. Please do not bring children to adult appointments.
  5. We require a mask or face covering of mouth and nose upon entering our office and leaving. Due to limited supply of PPEs, we are unable to provide masks to you.
  6. Hand sanitizers are available to use upon entering and more throughout the office.
  7. We have removed magazines, water, coffee, toys, and other items that can harbor or transfer germs which are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  8. We’re introducing an oral pre-rinse to all patients to reduce exposure to germs.
  9. Recording temperature of every patient upon entering the office.
  10. Recording temperature and lung efficiency of every team member on a daily basis, at the beginning and end of work period.
  11. Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures before and after all appointments with fogging devices to access hard to reach places.
  12. Ambient air management with medical grade ionizing HEPA air filtration in treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air.
  13. Sneeze guards at reception area.
  14. We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
  15. Enhanced nightly disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

Quite the list right? We thought so too. If we didn’t feel it is necessary to achieve our goal of safety while providing you excellent dental care during this COVOID-19 Pandemic, the protocol wouldn’t have made the cut.


Science Behind a Confident Smile Series

August 30th, 2019

Think of your mouth like a car. (Stay with me here, it will make sense in a minute.) If you take good care of your vehicle, you don’t just visit the mechanic when you hear funny noises or the engine starts to smoke. You rotate your tires, change your oil regularly and do a multi-point inspection just to make sure everything is in good working order.

Like your car, it is just as important to check for signs of a healthy mouth as it is to check for signs of disease. Understanding what goes on in a healthy mouth helps you keep everything in good working order and stay vigilant for signs of a problem.

On that note, we put together our own multi-point inspection for a healthy mouth. Here is what to look for in a well-tuned mouth, preventative steps you can take to keep it that way, and of course, the science behind it all.

Your Gums: A Consistent Color

Like skin tone, healthy gums range in color. Yours might be red, pink, or dark brown. The important thing to look for is consistency, both throughout your entire mouth and over time. If your gums change color in a short period of time, or if portions of your gums are darker or lighter than usual, this is a cause for concern.

A change to your gum color might be the result of something innocuous like an amalgam tattoo — harmless and caused when particles from fillings and crowns become dislodged — or it might be the sign of something more serious, like gingivitis or trench mouth, an acute form of gingivitis that causes a layer of dead tissue to build up over the gums.

As the first stop on your multi-point inspection, scan your gums to check for dark or light spots or changes in color. If you notice anything unusual, it’s time to give your dentist a call.

Your Gums: Firm to the Touch and Flush to Your Teeth

Color isn’t the only thing to look for when it comes to healthy gums. Your gums, aka gingiva, play an important role in keeping teeth in line, anchoring them in your mouth, and protecting them from shocks. Made up of fleshy tissue, they are covered by a layer of mucous membrane and adhere to your teeth with tiny fibers called the periodontal membrane.

In a healthy mouth, your gums appear snug against your teeth, not loose. This snug fit minimizes the chance of gum disease by keeping bacteria away from your roots. Healthy gums are also firm to the touch, not puffy, and they rarely bleed when you brush or floss. Puffiness and bleeding are early signs of gum disease.

If you notice puffiness, bleeding, or pocketing on your gums, a week or so of vigilance is often enough to remedy. Floss daily and brush twice a day in a gentle circular motion. If these symptoms continue, make an appointment with your dentist.

Your Teeth: Handle Hot and Cold Foods Well

I’m not asking you to chomp through a popsicle as though it were a cob of corn. (Cringe!) That being said, your healthy teeth should withstand a reasonable amount of hot and cold foods without pain. For this, you have your strong enamel to thank.

Think of your tooth enamel like a coat of armor. Made up of hard, calcified tissue, it is the first defense protecting your teeth from all of the curveballs life throws at them. Directly below that armor is your dentin. Dentin contains microscopic canals that serve as a highway leading directly to nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

Decay fractured teeth, weak enamel, and worn fillings allow food and drink to breach the enamel and reach the center of your tooth via those tiny canals. Do this and alarm bells sound. Likewise, an exposed root can also be sensitive. Hot or cold beverages, sweet or acidic foods, or even a quick intake of cold air can cause sharp temporary pains. This is your mouth’s way of telling you to back off and see your dentist.

To keep your teeth from becoming sensitive in the first place, take these important steps:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid acidic foods that break down enamel
  • Consider a bite guard if you grind your teeth
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Ask your dentist about in-office fluoride treatments

Your Breath: Reasonably Fresh

We all experience bad breath first thing in the morning, or after over-indulging in those Safeco Field garlic fries. But halitosis — chronic bad breath — is another story. A healthy mouth isn’t always minty fresh, but it shouldn’t knock people over left and right with it’s pungent odor either.

In most cases, halitosis is a sign of poor oral hygiene. When not cleaned away regularly, bacteria in your mouth produce foul-smelling sulfur compounds. Infections and tooth decay also cause nasty odors, as does food trapped and rotting between dentures or underneath crowns.

Assuming your breath passes muster, keep it that way with good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular trips to the dentist.

Your Saliva: Flowing Freely

Saliva plays an important role in a healthy mouth, neutralizing acids, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away leftover food particles. Enzymes in your saliva also help digest food. Coming back to my car metaphor, saliva is the oil in your well-oiled-machine. If you want to keep your mouth in tip-top shape, don’t forget about an adequate supply of this ever-important substance.

Lack of adequate saliva, or dry mouth, has different causes, including certain medications, aging, chemotherapy, diabetes, and stroke. Chronic dry mouth contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, mouth sores, and oral yeast infections.

Chronic dry mouth warrants a trip to the dentist, but in general, keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water, avoiding mouthwashes containing alcohol, and limiting acidic drinks like orange juice and soda. Seek help for severe snoring, and if the air in your bedroom is dry, consider using a dehumidifier to help relieve dry mouth.

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