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Sports and Energy Drinks May Damage Teeth


In this country today, research has shown that approximately fifty percent of teenagers report they consume energy drinks every day and as many as sixty percent say they consume at least one sports drink per day. Many individuals who drink sports and energy drinks believe both their energy level and sports performance will be improved by the consumption of these beverages.  They may also believe that these smart drinks are better for them than soda.  However, recent research has shown these smart drinks can be quite damaging to teeth.

According to an article in Medical News Today , researchers looked at the effect energy and sports drinks had on the teeth of those who consumed these beverages.  Researchers found these so called smart drinks have a very high acidity level that can erode  tooth enamel, the hard, shiny, white outer coating on teeth.

In the study, researchers compared 13 different sports and energy drinks and found that acidity levels varied not only between brands, but  between different flavors of the same brand, as well.  Samples of tooth enamel were immersed for fifteen minutes in each different beverage and then placed in artificial saliva for two hours.  This was repeated four times per day for five days to represent a person drinking four smart beverages a day. 

The study found that after five days, the samples of enamel had been damaged by both types of drinks.  However, the damage caused by energy drinks was double that of the sports drinks.  

Dentists are advising patients to decrease their consumption of energy and sports drinks and drink fruit  juice or coconut water instead.  Another dental tip is to wait at least an hour to brush your teeth after consumption of these drinks to avoid rubbing the acids onto the tooth surface.  After consumption of a smart drink, rinsing the mouth with water is one way to wash away the harmful acids of the drinks and return the mouth to its natural pH. 

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Dr. Mark Gasbara
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