The Damaging Nature of Sports and Energy Drinks
Many athletes risk developing tooth damage caused by drinking sports and energy drinks, but they are not the only ones at risk. We live in a fast-paced world that demands a lot of energy from us. A large number of people look for fast energy solutions in their everyday lives that can help them to keep up. Energy and sports drinks are one of the most popular solutions and more people are drinking them. An estimated 68 percent of adolescents and 30 percent of adults consume these stimulants on a regular basis. They are becoming so commonplace that it is even estimated that 18 percent of children under the age of 10 drink energy drinks. Unfortunately, these drinks significantly increase your risk of tooth decay.
The large amount of sugar in these drinks is just one of the reasons that they destroy your teeth. Bacteria on the surface of your teeth consume sugars and produce an acidic by-product that eats into your teeth, causing cavities and tooth decay. The average 16oz energy drink contains between 40 and 70 grams of sugar, depending on the brand. Likewise, most sports drinks contain upwards of 40 grams of sugar in just a 12oz serving, and most bottles contain two servings. Consider that one sugar cube contains about 2.3 grams of sugar. Consuming one energy or sports drink is like eating 28 or more sugar cubes in one sitting!
In addition to their high sugar content, sports and energy drinks are highly acidic. Acidity is measured on a pH scale. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity of the substance measured. Tooth enamel is found to erode at a pH of 5.5, meaning that anything with a lower pH will damage tooth enamel. Energy drinks have a pH ranging from 1.5 to 3.3. Sports drinks have a much wider range, but the more popular ones often fall into the range of 3.2-3.5. A handful of sports drinks do have a pH above the 5.5, including Odwalla Carrot Juice, Odwalla Vanilla Monster, and Filtered Ionized Alkaline H2O.
Regular Dental Care
You can protect your teeth by limiting the amount of energy and sports drinks that you consume in a week. Once damaged, your enamel cannot protect your teeth from decay. Loss of enamel can cause increased tooth sensitivity, staining, pitting, and cracks or chips in addition to increasing the risk of decay. In many cases, a steady regimen of brushing and flossing coupled with professional dental cleaning every six months can help prevent decay and gum disease. Dental crowns may be placed to protect teeth that have severe enamel erosion or have been badly damaged by decay.
For more information about preventative dental care for your teeth, please call 303-759-5652 today to schedule an appointment with a Denver dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.