How Sports And Energy Drinks Can Damage Teeth

For a good pick-me-up, a sports or energy drink may be the first beverage you grab. While these increasingly popular drinks are usually fine to consume in moderation, too much of these beverages can wreak havoc on your teeth.

At Natomas Crossing Dental Care, we encourage patients to limit their consumption of sports and energy drinks — as they can cause irreversible damage to your teeth over time. Here’s why you should think twice the next time you go to grab an energy or sports beverage.

Acid and Your Teeth: A Dangerous Combination

More and more studies are showing that the negative impact of sports and energy drinks outweigh the benefits. While they may provide a few hours of energy or rehydration, these beverages also can wreck your teeth.

What makes these drinks worse than other beverages, such as soda and juice? The reason is these drinks have significant levels of acid. The constant exposure to highly acidic liquids softens and erodes the hard, protective layer of the tooth called the enamel. The problem with enamel erosion is that it can’t repair itself once it is destroyed.

Discoloration, cracks and painful tooth sensitivity are likely to occur as the enamel wears away. In addition to acid, many drinks have high amounts of sugar, which also increases the acidity and makes your mouth prone to bacteria, further increasing the risk of decay and cavities.

Drink These Instead

As a general rule, water is always the healthiest option because it has no effect on tooth enamel and keeps you hydrated. If you are going to enjoy a sports or energy drink, however, consider the following tips to reduce damage to your enamel.

  • Drink the beverage through a straw to minimize your teeth’s exposure.
  • Rinse with water immediately after drinking sports or energy drinks to help reduce the mouth’s overall acidity.
  • Enjoy these drinks in one sitting, preferably at meal times, rather than sipping on them throughout the day.
  • Don’t make it a daily habit. An occasional drink is fine, but too much over an extended period of time will have lasting, negative effects on your enamel.
  • Avoid brushing teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming a sports or energy drink to allow the acidity in your mouth to neutralize.

Drinking is essential to keeping your mouth and body healthy and hydrated, but not all beverages are created equal. If you're concerned your enamel is damaged, schedule a visit to our office to discuss your options for treatment. In some cases, enamel-strengthening toothpaste can help alleviate the sensitivity caused by eroded enamel. For more severe damage, treatments such as veneers, bonding or teeth whitening can help restore your damaged teeth to their natural appearance and function.