Teens and adults alike often find themselves drinking constantly from bottles of sports beverages and cans of energy drinks with the justification, “Well, at least it’s better for me than pop is.” However, most people don’t realize that severity of damage that is being done to their teeth by consuming energy and sports drinks regularly can be just as bad as the damage done by drinking soda.
After a study conducted in 2012 by the Academy of General Dentistry, researchers discovered that consuming such drinks is essentially bathing your teeth with acid. This can cause irreversible erosion of tooth enamel, which can make teeth more prone to decay, cavities, and sensitivity.
The study consisted of submerging samples of tooth enamel in 13 different sports and energy drinks for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for the next two hours. This process was repeated four times a day for five consecutive days. The results showed that in only five days, significant damage to the tooth enamel had been done, although energy drinks proved to have as much as two times the risk of causing erosion as sports drinks.
This is alarming when one considers that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of teenagers in the United States consume energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consume sports drinks on a daily basis. It is vital that parents and teenagers alike are well educated of the risks these beverages present so they can make healthier choices.
Here are some recommended ways to avoid damaging tooth enamel caused consuming by energy or sports drinks:
- Chew a stick of sugar free gum after consuming a sports or energy drink. This increases the production of saliva in your mouth and helps reduce acidity back to its normal level.
- Limit the amount of sports and energy drinks you consume. We’re not telling you that you can’t enjoy a Gatorade every now and then – just that you should enjoy all energy and sports drinks in moderation!
- Drink water! It keeps you hydrated and doesn’t bathe your teeth in acid or sugar like other drinks often do. You can never go wrong with drinking water!