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18 Apr, 2021
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Effervescent Tablets: Good Or Bad? – Ask Dr. Farooq Sorathia

Effervescent Tablets. They may be good for the body, but are they good for the teeth?

Many of us take multivitamins every day. Especially now, we all want to be healthy considering the situation with the virus. I know a lot of people who are taking Vitamin C and other multivitamins with the hope of boosting their immunity. There are so many cool-looking fizzy tablets out there in the market, which claim to be beneficial to the body. Some may also have a myriad of colours. What we need to remember, is that teeth are part of our body as well and we have to take care of them just as we take care of our bodies. I have spoken numerous times about the need to control the frequency of sugary foods that we consume because the bacteria feed on this and produce acid as a byproduct making the teeth weaker. The acid in these fizzy carbonated drinks causes the teeth to become softer and makes it even easier for dental caries to progress. The acid attacks would come from the weakening of enamel from the carbonated drinks, and then a further attack from the production of acid, by bacteria.

Most fizzy drinks, contain some level of acid, and yes, effervescent tablets are no exception. Carbonated drinks get their fizz from carbon dioxide, and this turns into carbonic acid, which gives the drink a zesty and refreshing bubbly feeling. Studies conducted in New Zealand showed that some of the effervescent multivitamins were quite acidic. Almost, as acidic as sodas, juices such as orange juice, or even something simple like plain water with lemon.

As I mentioned earlier, it is the frequency that is important rather than the quantity. Saliva has properties that buffer the acidic environment created in the mouth, but, it takes time for it to get back to normal. The cycle continues with every sip of these drinks. My advice would be that after drinking any acidic drinks, you should rinse your mouth with plain water, as this would dilute the acid concentration, allowing the saliva to buffer the acid much quicker. I wouldn’t recommend brushing straight after consuming these acidic drinks as they do cause the enamel to weaken, and as we brush, we help scrape away the enamel just making the whole situation worse.

I wouldn’t be one to discourage the consumption of multivitamins or fresh juice or the very famous plain water with lemon. I believe it is very healthy, however, in moderation. Before taking multivitamins though, it is important to discuss with your medical doctor if it would be advisable to take them and take them as suggested.

Remember, reduce the frequency of sugary drinks, or carbonated drinks, or effervescent medication. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water, and do not brush after an acidic meal. You can speak to your dentist or nutritionist for advice if you aren’t sure what is considered acidic. That way you are healthy and maintain that smile that lights up the world.

Article Written by Dr. Farooq Sorathia (BDS – University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)

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