If sipping flavored water keeps you going throughout the day, I am sorry to burst your bubble. I know you are trying to do the right thing, staying hydrated and avoiding sugar and additives from sodas and other soft drinks. And the variety of fun new flavors on the market make otherwise boring water exciting to drink. If you are hooked, you are not alone.

Sales of LaCroix water, for example, with its splashy packaging and playful flavors such as tangerine and coconut, have more than doubled in the past two years, the Wall Street Journal reported. There has also been an explosion of tasty still waters , with enticing flavors such as strawberry kiwi, watermelon and raspberry. But the hard truth is that drinking too much flavored water – sparkling or still – could do serious damage to your teeth.

The problem is that these drinks’ flavor essences, mostly citric and other fruit acids, cause significant tooth erosion – “the incremental dissolving away of the enamel on the teeth, which, over time, can affect their structural integrity, making them hypersensitive to temperature and potentially more cavity-prone,” explains Edmond R. Hewlett, consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.

A beverage’s pH is the main determinant of its potential to erode teeth. Anything with a pH less than 4 is considered a threat to dental health; the lower the pH, the more acidic a drink is, and the more harmful. Regular tap water typically has a pH between 6 and 8.

You can check out the other half of this article on The Chicago Tribune here: http://trib.in/2pu8Aen