The “healthy Coke” alternative going viral on TikTok, where users are mixing balsamic vinegar with sparkling water. Fans of the DIY soda swear it tastes great and is a healthier dupe for the real thing, while others say it’s no swap for a Coca-Cola. But now dentists are weighing in on the soda and sharing one major downside.
It turns out, this homemade soft drink is not great for our teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) has released a statement about the risks of over-indulging in acidic beverages in response to the trend. “I love balsamic vinegar, but I enjoy it more on my salad than in my drinking glass,” dentist Edmond Hewlett explains in the statement. “It’s much kinder to the teeth than bathing them in a beverage blend of two acids. The more acidic the drink, the greater the risk of tooth erosion with frequent consumption.”
That’s because it’s acid, not sugar, that breaks down the teeth’s protective enamel coating. So, while a glass of seltzer mixed with a splash of balsamic vinegar may seem like a healthier choice than a sugar-filled Coke, the combo of an acidic bubbly drink and sticky, sour vinegar could be worse for dental health than the real thing. Dentist Mark Sclafani explains that the stickiness of the balsamic vinegar will adhere to teeth long after you finish your meal, plus the acidity can wear away your teeth enamel and stain teeth.
- Tooth erosion can lead to long-term sensitivity as well as increasing the risk of decay and infection, according to the ADA.
- They recommend sipping acidic drinks through a straw and rinsing your mouth with water afterwards to help cut the risk of erosion, but not brushing your teeth for about an hour after drinking something acidic.
- “Honestly, I would rather just have people drink a regular can of Coke,” Dr. Sclafani says.