You probably know that pop and fruit juices contain sugar and acids that can damage teeth. It may surprise you to learn, however, that sports and energy drinks can have a damaging effect as well. Here, our Calgary dentists explain how.
What are sports drinks?
Sports drinks are beverages intended to help athletes replace fluids, electrolytes, and energy during and after training or competition.
What are energy drinks?
Energy drinks are beverages that contain sugar and stimulants, usually caffeine. They are marketed as providing mental and physical stimulation.
How do sports and energy drinks damage teeth?
There is a common misconception that sports and energy drinks are healthier than pop, because they often taste less sweet, and because they are marketed to seem that way.
However, in many cases both sports and energy drinks can contain as much (and often more) sugar and acids as pop does.
The high acidity and sugar levels in these drinks erode tooth enamel over time. Damage to this glossy outer layer of the tooth is irreversible, and without its protection, teeth become more sensitive and more susceptible to cavities.
Preventing Enamel Erosion
Sports drinks, energy drinks, pop, juice, and sugary snacks and treats can all contribute to enamel erosion. For this reason, they should only be consumed in moderation.
There are a few other important ways that you can protect your enamel, however. Twice daily brushing and flossing is essential for removing any residual acids and sugars from your mouth. You can enhance the benefits of brushing and flossing by using a soft toothbrush, and an enamel strengthening toothpaste.
Staying well hydrated is important too, because a well hydrated body produces sufficient amounts of saliva to properly wash away food debris and residues from the teeth.
Finally, regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings are essential, because your dentist and hygienist can remove acid plaque from the teeth that your toothbrush cannot.