YOU ALREADY SUSPECT THAT ENERGY DRINKS contain a lot of sugar, but at least they’re not as bad as soda pop, right? You wouldn’t be alone if you’ve thought that sports drinks, thanks to their supplement arsenal, are good for growing bodies. But the truth is energy and sports drinks can be even worse for your teeth than soft drinks.
A One-Two Punch
Energy and sports drinks launch a twofold attack on your teeth: sugar and acid. Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have about half the sugar of sodas, but popular energy drinks like Monster or Fuel often have the same amount of sugar as soda (or more). In addition, both sports and energy drinks are loaded with acid—enough to do ten times more damage to tooth enamel than soda. Check out this Academy of General Dentistry study on tooth enamel and beverages. Researchers immersed tooth enamel in a variety of popular sports and energy drinks for 15 minutes and then transferred it to artificial saliva to imitate the effects of consuming energy drinks a couple times a day. Significant enamel damage only took five days.
Today, Half Of Teens Drink One (or more) Sports Drinks Or Energy Drinks Daily
The market for energy drinks has almost tripled in the past few years, targeting teens and young adults. Considering their popularity, it’s important to know about the dangers. If you suspect you’ve already experienced damage from sports or energy drinks, contact us to visit about ways we can help.
Four Helpful Tips
Here are some tips & tricks to minimize damage caused by sports and energy drinks:
- Rinse out your mouth with water or chew some sugar-free gum after having energy drinks. This rebalances the pH level in your mouth to counteract the acid. Don’t brush for a while after drinking—your enamel is still soft and brushing can damage it even more.
- Drink sports drinks before you get dehydrated, not after. That way, you’ll have the saliva you need to protect your teeth.
- Drink it all at once (but don’t choke!). Your mouth takes time to recover after each sip, so drinking continuously prevents teeth from regaining their protection.
- Stick to healthier options when NOT working out. Sports drinks are meant to rehydrate and replenish when you’re working out hard. So, if you’re just “active”, consider alternatives like water or electrolyte drops in water.
Ask Us More About It The Next Time We See You
Here at our practice we want you to be aware of what you can do to help prevent enamel damage. Do you have a story to share about sports or energy drinks? If so, comment below or visit our Facebook page and tell us about it. Do you have other questions for our team? We’d love to hear from you!