Today, Sports and Energy drinks are very popular and may seem like a healthy beverage choice, but they can also cause serious damage to your teeth. A recent study from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) found sports drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.
The Damage Sports Drinks Can Cause:
The big misconception is that Sports and Energy drinks are healthier than soda when it comes to oral health. These drinks contain such high levels of acidity, actually twice the amount in soda per the study, that they can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.
The acid in these drinks breaks down your tooth’s enamel, the shiny, hard outer layer of your teeth, causing them to become very sensitive to temperature changes and touch, and leaving you more susceptible to tooth decay and prone to cavities.
These types of drinks are mostly consumed by teens and young adults. According to the research, 50% of this population drinks sports drinks and 62% have at least one sports drink per day. Energy drinks seem to be even worse than Sports drinks in terms of acidity and the research found the following brands to contain the most acid:
- Gatorade Blue
- Monster Assault
- 5-Hour Energy
- Von Dutch
What To Do:
While water is the best way to quench thirst and keep your teeth strong. If you do drink Sorts or Energy drinks, here are some things you can do to help reduce the damage, keeping your teeth white and healthy:
– Minimize the amount of Sports drinks you consume
– Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Brushing immediately after drinking acidic drinks can cause serious corrosion of dentin, the layer below your tooth’s enamel.
– Drink with a straw or in one sitting. Dentists say: “Sip all day, get decay.”
– Neutralize the effect of sports drinks by alternating sips of water with the drink.
– Chew sugar-free gum to increase the amount of saliva in your mouth or rinse your mouth with water following consumption of sports drinks. Both will help decrease the acidity in your mouth and return the PH of your mouth to a more normal level.
Some experts suggest using natural fruit juices or coconut water, which have great re-hydrating abilities, as alternatives to drinking sports drinks. Sports and Energy drinks are loaded with sugar, acid, caffeine and artificial ingredients They are costly to buy and could cost you much more in dentist bills due to damaged teeth.
Dr. Finlay and Dr. Lim offer family dentistry in their Annapolis area dentist office, conveniently located off of Ritchie Hwy. in Arnold, MD. Good oral hygiene and routine preventive dental care are the foundation of a healthy smile for life!