Sports drinks have been marketed as a healthy and safe way to hydrate the body after exercise or hard play. In fact, most parents don’t think twice about handing their child a bottle of flavored sports drink after a game or practice. However, while these types of beverages may contain electrolytes and other minerals to replenish the body, they also contain high amounts of acid and sugars that can wreak havoc on the teeth. These are two of the most harmful substances for your teeth in terms of erosion and decay. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to suffer the bad effects. A recent study published in General Dentistry reports that sports drinks contain so much acid that they begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.
What Does It Do?
When the sugars and acids of your favorite sports drink combine, it creates a toxic bath for your teeth. Your teeth are made of the strongest substance in your entire body. However, acid can easily erode the outermost layer (the enamel). Enamel erosion is the biggest risk for loyal sports drink fans, and it is a dental issue that should be taken seriously. Once the enamel deteriorates or thins, the teeth can become sensitive, discolored and vulnerable to decay. Remember that once your tooth enamel is gone, it can’t grow back. Therefore, it is critical that you protect your teeth with what you choose to drink.
What Can You Do?
If you are not willing to simply stick to water for rehydrating, you should at least consume sports drinks in a better way. Try not to sip on it throughout a long period of time, and once you’ve finished, follow it up with a nice rinse of water or chew a piece of sugarless gum to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
Tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease. This statistic is strongly supported by the fact that up to 62 percent of U.S. teenagers consume at least one sports drink per day, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. When it comes to the health of your smile (or your child’s), rethink your drink! Pure water is the best source of hydration – for your body and your smile. Contact Farhan Qureshi, DDS today for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Posted on behalf of Farhan Qureshi, DDS
Farhan Qureshi, DDS
Alexandria, VA 22311