Many people are surprised to learn that sports drinks, energy drinks and some fruit juices can be as harmful or more harmful than the already devastating soft drinks.
Energy drinks, sports drinks, sodas, and juices coat the teeth with either acids, sugars, or both. These acids erode the hard outer layer of the tooth called enamel. While decay is often limited to fewer teeth, this acid erosion typically affects the entire mouth. It can cause sensitivity, discoloration, cracks, and softer areas more prone to decay from sugars and the bacteria that cause decay. This loss of enamel cannot be easily replaced.
The dental school at University of Iowa conducted a study and concluded that energy and sports drinks such as gatorade, powerade, and Red Bull eroded more enamel than soda or fruit juices.
Water is typically best, but if you are going to drink these type of beverages, here are a few helpful tips:
- If you are going to drink it, drink up, don't sip it. The longer you sip, the longer your teeth are exposed to the destructive acids.
- It is better to drink it with a meal than between meals.
- Drinking through the straw can be helpful in limiting the exposure of teeth to the acids.
- Rinsing with water immediately afterwards can help rinse the sugars and acids off the teeth.
- Wait 30 minutes after drinking acids before brushing as the acids make the acid so soft it is susceptible to being brushed off with a toothbrush.