A recent study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry, a peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, reported that a significant increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, particularly among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth. The study reports that the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel.
Most people perceive sports and energy drinks to be much healthier than soda and many adolescents consume these drinks in hopes of improving their sports performance and energy levels. However, the high acidity levels are eroding the enamel on teeth, causing irreversible damage. Without the protection of enamel, teeth can become overly sensitive and are more likely to decay and develop cavities.
In the study, the researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks. Energy drinks were found to have a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks.
A reported 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens currently consume energy drinks and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. For this reason, it is important to education adolescents and their parents about the effects of these drinks on dental health. Academy of General Dentistry spokeswoman, Jennifer Bone, DDS, MAGD, recommends that her patients minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks and also recommends rinsing the teeth with water after consuming these types of drinks. She also says that patients should wait at least one hour after consuming sports or energy drinks before they brush their teeth. If not, the acid contained in the drinks will be spread onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.
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