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I somehow stumbled upon this article: Revealed: How fizzy vitamin supplements can wreck your teeth. Certainly, Daily Mail is probably not a very reliable source. But when I searched in Google Scholar and Google Books, it seems that there are more serious sources which study correlation between usage of effervescent tablets and some problems with teeth. For example, the book Dental Erosion: From Diagnosis to Therapy (edited by Adrian Lussi) mentions link between use of effervescent tablets and tooth erosion.

Could somebody more knowledgeable tell me more about this? Specifically, I want to ask:

  • Are effervescent tablets really bad for teeth health? Or is it ok assuming I do not use them too much?
  • Are only some of the effervescent tablets on the market problematic? If yes, how can I choose some which do not cause teeth problems.
  • If they are bad, is it still ok to use them if I brush my teeth right after using them?
  • This is my first question on health.SE. If I did make some mistakes when posting the question, I'll be glad to know about them. And I will also be grateful to more experienced users of the site if they help me with choice of appropriate tags, should some other tags be needed for my question. – Martin Jun 11 '15 at 10:27
  • Please do not answer in comments. If you feel you have an answer to contribute, post it as such with the appropriate references. Thank you. – JohnP Aug 24 '16 at 14:32
5

Couldn't find any articles directly looking at effervescent tablets and dental problems, so I took a more broad look and searched for citric acid's effect on teeth.

The combination of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate are routinely used in effervescent tablets designed for human consumption (according to Wikipedia ;).

Citric acid is commonly found in many fruit juices and many soft drinks we consume have an acidic pH. I found an article that looks specifically at citric acid compared with artificial saliva.

Hence, enamel wear in the citric acid solution was significantly higher than in the artificial saliva

The study found that citric acid had a negative affect on tooth wear compared with artificial saliva. I would be cautious trying to relate these results to something like drinking an effervescent multivitamin solution though; the tooth exposure to citric acid was probably longer than if you just drank a solution and especially if you washed your mouth and brushed your teeth after.

So to recap:

  1. Effervescent tablets usually contain citric acid which is the only compound I researched, so those not containing citric acid don't apply to this

  2. Citric acid and other acids are fairly well established as "bad" for your teeth, most notably sodas and acidic fruit drinks

  3. I assume that brushing your teeth or washing your mouth out after use would help, but I can't back that up with any research

So effervescent tablets containing citric acid is worse than saliva for your teeth, but how much of an effect it would have especially with infrequent use I can't really say.

References:

Zheng, J., Huang, H., Shi, M., Zheng, L., Qian, L., & Zhou, Z. (2011). In vitro study on the wear behaviour of human tooth enamel in citric acid solution. Wear, 271(9-10), 2313-2321. doi:10.1016/j.wear.2010.11.027

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