With summer here, staying well-hydrated needs to be more of a focus, especially when you or your children are participating in outdoor activities. Those colorful sports drinks and powerful energy drinks are always enticing because they are a tasty alternative to plain water. And because they contain electrolytes, they can be helpful when your activity level is intense. However, they also have the potential to do some serious damage to your teeth. For this reason, your dentist in Marysville would rather you stick to good ol’ H2O for hydration this summer. Read on to learn more about how sports and energy drinks can harm your smile.
What’s in a Sports Drink?
Take a look at the list of ingredients on almost any sports drink and you’re likely to see water, sugar and citric acid at the top, and therein lies the problem. Most people understand that sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, so they know to stay away from soft drinks but did you realize that there is also sugar in sports drinks? Even if there is little to no sugar, a sports drink can still contribute to tooth decay because of acidity.
In fact, a study published by the General Dentistry Journal found that sports drinks have so much acid that they can begin to destroy your teeth in as few as five days of drinking them. That could add up to a lot of cavities, especially when you consider that between 30 to 50 percent of American teens drink these beverages, and 62 percent of those have at least one sports drink every day.
How Sports Drinks Can Damage Your Teeth?
The damage to teeth from sports and energy drinks falls into two categories: Tooth sensitivity and cavities. The acid in these drinks immediately begins to damage tooth enamel, and once damage occurs, there’s no turning back. Damaged tooth enamel is more sensitive to touch and to foods and beverages that are extremely hot or cold.
With damaged enamel, a tooth becomes more susceptible to decay, too. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it’s no match for regular exposure to the acid in sports and energy drinks.
How Can I Protect My Teeth?
The first recommendation from your Marysville dentist is to drink water when you need to rehydrate. But when you really have a taste for a sports drink, try to rinse you mouth out with water immediately after. By rinsing you wash away any excess liquid that contains acid so it doesn’t remain on your teeth for very long.
If rinsing is not an option, then pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth. Do not brush you teeth right after having a sports drink. If you do, then your toothbrush is likely to spread the acid all over your teeth, which may lead to additional damage.
Contact Our Office Today
Summer is also a great time to make sure you have a dental checkup, too. Call Darby Creek Dental to schedule your appointment today.