With the consumption of sports and energy drinks on the rise, especially among adolescents, dentists are focusing more and more on patient education regarding the downside of these drinks. Studies published by the Academy of General Dentistry report that the high acidity levels in sports and energy drinks erode the glossy outer layer of the tooth’s surface. This important layer is the tooth’s enamel. While acid levels vary from brand to brand, one thing is certain–regular consumption of sports and energy drinks can result in permanent damage to teeth.
Tooth enamel covers each of your teeth, serving an important purpose–protection. It is the hardest substance in the human body. In fact, tooth enamel is harder than your bones! It protects teeth while chewing, and it also serves as an insulator, protecting you from discomfort when you eat something that is hot or cold. While enamel is hard, it can break down. When it does, the damage cannot be reversed.
With up to 62% of teens consuming sports and energy drinks on a daily basis, it’s likely that their tooth enamel is being eroded. Some may notice that their teeth are extra sensitive. Others may see an increase in cavities and tooth decay, as noted by their dentist. When told about the alarming effects of sports and energy drinks on tooth enamel, most are shocked.
Often, the first question that a patient asks is, “What can I do to protect my teeth?” Dentists are fully equipped to provide all of the necessary tools needed to protect your teeth, particularly in reducing the amount of acid attacking them. Here are a few recommendations:
- Minimize your intake of sports and energy drinks.
- After drinking a sports or energy drink, chew sugar-free gum or rinse with water. This will increase the flow of saliva, which is a natural way to balance the acidity levels in the mouth.
- Do not brush your teeth, at least, not right away. Wait an hour. Contrary to what many believe, brushing too soon after drinking a sports or energy beverage is equivalent to brushing with acid!
At Grateful Dental, we believe that your smile is valuable. Thus, we want to protect it! Through every stage of life, Dr. Leia Porcaro is ready to help you in the fight against tooth erosion and decay. Many times, this means focusing on patient education. If you are looking for a dentist to serve your family with conscientious and compassionate patient care, call Grateful Dental today. We are ready to meet you.