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11May2012

Latest Study Reports Sports and Energy Drinks Causing Irreversible Tooth Damage

In a recent study, young adults and adolescents report drinking energy and sports drinks hoping to improve performance or feel as though they are a healthier alternative to sodas.  Researchers examined the acidity level in 13 of these types of beverages.  The conclusions were that damage was evident to tooth enamel after only 5 days of testing in both energy and sports drinks.  Energy drinks cause twice as much damage as sports drinks but both types of beverages cause significant amounts of damage in as little as one to two beverages daily.

Our practice does a lot of education with patients about acids and the effects that they have on teeth.  Most people think that because the drink is diet or sugar free that it is healthy and they are not taking into account the acid that is in those drinks as well.  Both Dr. Sivie and Dr. Williams recommend that patients try to drink the beverage in one sitting as opposed to sipping the drink over an hour or more.  Also, we recommend that you rinse with water after the drink or drink it along with the energy or sports drink to decrease the acid level and helps the acidity levels become more normal.  Don’t brush immediately after drinking an energy  or sports drink because you don’t want to scrub in the acid causing more tooth erosion.  Wait at least thirty minutes to an hour before you brush again.  Sugar free gum can help increase saliva flow as well and can be very beneficial.

Although this study was specifically geared towards energy and sports drinks, any beverage with acid can cause damage to tooth enamel.  Be sure to read your labels and see what acids are listed.  You might be surprised to see that it is the first or second ingredient!

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