When you probably think about energy and sports drinks the first thing that goes through your mind is that they are packed with calories, so you will have to work them off if you don’t want to put on weight. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that, teeth damage from sports drinks and energy drinks is becoming more common. The worst damage is being done to teeth because of the high acid levels contained in these types of drinks. If someone doesn’t flush out their mouth with good old plain water after consuming a sports or energy drink the acid starts its work on the teeth. It can at a surprisingly fast pace start to erode the enamel, which is the protective outer layer of your teeth.
Adolescents believe that sports drinks & energy drinks are better than soft drinks
It’s mostly young adults who are the main consumers of these bottles of acid, as they believe the benefits are far higher than the drawbacks. They think that their energy levels and performance playing sports ability increases the more sports drinks they consume. They also clearly believe that sports and energy drinks are nutritionally good for them.
Research shows acid damages teeth
Researchers have studied acid levels in 9 energy drinks and 13 sports drinks. The results revealed that different drink brands and flavours didn’t necessarily come up with the same results.
The acid levels were tested by immersing samples of enamel from a human tooth in the chosen drinks for 15 minutes at a time. This was then followed by putting the material in a compound of artificial saliva for 2 hours.
This experiment took place over 5 days and when the enamel was not being tested it was stored in a fresh batch of artificial saliva. This experiment replicates the exposure the average teenager has to these drinks every day.
The researchers revealed that enamel damage took place after just 5 days of being exposed to energy or sports drinks. Energy drinks were twice as likely to do damage to the teeth as the sports variety.
Damage to the teeth’s enamel can’t be reversed
Up to 50 percent of teenagers consume energy drinks, and up to 62 percent of them drink one or more each day. If the enamel is lost it won’t replace itself naturally. And the teeth not only become more sensitive but they have a higher chance of becoming decayed. Once this happens, tooth loss starts to begin an irreversible cycle.
How to avoid teeth damage from sports drinks
It’s hard to get young people to give up anything, whether it’s bad for them or not. However, trying to keep the drinking of energy and sports drinks to a minimum may help a bit.
Otherwise, the main suggestion is apart from going for regular check-ups at your dentist. And to rinse out the mouth with a glass of good old plain water after consuming one of these drinks. Or chew some gum that’s sugar free. Sugar free gum stimulates the production of saliva which helps to naturally rinse the mouth of anything that shouldn’t be there.
One thing you shouldn’t do is brush your teeth straight after drinking a sports or energy drink. This could spread the damaging acid onto the enamel.