Sports Drinks Acidity and their Effects on Teeth
Recent studies have revealed that the popularity of sports drinks and energy drinks is rapidly increasing. There are a large amount of people around the world who are not only enjoying energy drinks to help them hydrate and exercise, but also daily with meals and more. Most people consume sports drinks like these because they feel as though they are better for them than soda or some other sugary drinks but in most cases sports drinks contain other harmful ingredients the likes of which would be comparable to bathing teeth enamel in acid day in and day out.
Many of these sports and energy drinks are extremely high in acidity which can be horrible for teeth and overall oral health. In a test done by professional researchers at the Academy of General Dentistry, researchers completed tests on the acidity level of 9 energy drinks and 13 sports drinks. They tested each of the products with real tooth enamel samples which were stored in artificial saliva at all times. Enamel was immersed in each drink for 15 minutes and placed in saliva again for 2 hours. They repeated this test 4 times a day for 5 days to simulate the same drinking habits as an athlete or active individual drinking a sports drink once every few hours.
The results were absolutely shocking. Over the 5 days of exposure there was damage made to the enamel in all cases. The findings determined that by subjecting teeth to sports drinks or energy drinks every few hours, individuals are doing just as much damage as they would do drinking soda or any other sugary beverage due to the acidity of the product. 30-50% of US teens are drinking energy drinks and this is on the rise. The unfortunate side effect of all of this consumption is that any damage to tooth enamel that is caused by sports or energy drinks is completely irreversible. Without any kind of tooth enamel protection, this means that teeth can become extremely sensitive, prone to cavities and increase the likelihood that they will decay in the future.
A helpful tip if you do feel the need to consume energy drinks or sports drinks as well is that it is important not to brush your teeth immediately after drinking them. This will only work to spread around the acidity. Instead it is much better to wait roughly an hour after you have had an energy drink or sports drink to brush your teeth and try to hinder some of the damage these acidic drinks may do. Saliva will work to neutralize some of the acidity and help to return your mouth to normal. A good tactic for increasing saliva levels after drinking an energy drink or sports drink is to chew some sugar free gum. This will keep the acidity down and prevent damage to your teeth. It is also advisable to try to limit the amount of sports drinks you might drink regularly.
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There is more to Energy Drinks than Meets the Eye