Sports drinks are a popular way to rehydrate after exercising but may not be a healthy choice for your teeth. Around 62% of American teenagers consume at least one of these drinks each day, but excess consumption can take its toll on oral health. Listed below are some of the reasons why these drinks are harmful.
What Makes Sports Drinks so Bad for Teeth?
Many sports drinks are high in sugar and it’s best to avoid these brands. This advice is already well known, but what’s less obvious is the high acid content. Any general dentist in Sarasota, FL will tell you it’s the acid that can present the most danger to your teeth. It’s been found that consuming these drinks for just five days could permanently damage your teeth.
But Aren’t They Healthier than Soda?
Many people choose sports drinks to enhance their athletic performance and think they are a better choice than ordinary soda. In fact there is not much difference between the two, as sports drinks can contain just as much, if not more sugar. It’s certainly a myth that sports drinks are better for your teeth than sodas.
What Type of Damage Can They Do to Teeth?
Sports drinks can cause enamel erosion which is where the hard outer layer of your teeth is literally eroded away by the acid in these drinks. This can cause your teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold and increases the risk of tooth decay.
How Can I Avoid This Risk?
It’s best to avoid these drinks completely, but if you can’t give them up then try to at least minimize your consumption. Afterwards rinse your mouth with water, but wait at least half an hour before brushing. This allows the acidity levels in your mouth to normalize which has the effect of enabling your tooth enamel to slightly re-harden. Once this has occurred it’s safe to brush. Your dentist in Sarasota might also recommend chewing sugar-free gum after consuming one of these drinks. This is because chewing helps increase saliva production, reducing acidity in your mouth.