Energy drinks are becoming more and more popular. People consider them a “healthier” alternative to sodas and a more effective beverage at improving sports performance and boosting energy levels. Unfortunately, despite their flavor and claims of enhancing your level of play, these drinks pose an overwhelming risk to your teeth.
Sports and energy drinks contain two major threats to the health of your teeth: sugar and acids. In fact, they contain high amounts of each. While sugar most certainly contributes to cavity formation, it is the acids in these energy drinks that is most detrimental. The pH is acidic enough to dissolve your tooth enamel, or the glossy outer layer of your teeth. Once this layer breaks down, it doesn’t grow back. Furthermore, it exposes the less hard dentin layer to decay and infection.
Sip or Gulp: It Matters
If you must consume an energy drink, there is actually a right and wrong way to drink it if you are trying to protect your smile. To reduce the harmful effects on your teeth, it is best to consume the beverage all at once, rather than sipping on it throughout the day – or through a two-hour sports practice. According to an article in SELF, your saliva remains acidic enough to dissolve your enamel for upward of 20 minutes after just one sip of an energy drink.
To protect your teeth even more, consider chasing your energy drink with a few sips of water. Even chewing a piece of sugarless gum can help neutralize the acids in your mouth and save your enamel from irreversible damage. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you indulge on an energy drink, as the scrubbing can cause acid abrasion if you don’t wait about an hour.
Symptoms of Enamel Damage
If energy drinks are your go-to source for hydration and sports fuel, you need to watch for signs of enamel erosion. Do you suffer from discoloration, sensitivity or frequent cavities? This may indicate that you need to see a dentist and cut back on your energy drink habit. There are treatments for these disruptive dental symptoms and we can explain your options at Pure Dental Health. Schedule your appointment in Buckhead or Dunwoody today!
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