Many teens and young adults drink what seems to be an endless amount of sports drinks and energy drinks. Many of them believe that the drinks will help them perform better in school, in sports, compensate for a lack of sleep, be better to drink than soda, and a whole lot of other popular myths. We already know a lot of the adverse effects of energy drinks, such as: headaches, cardiac arrest, increased anxiety, insomnia, Type 2 Diabetes, risky behavior, high blood pressure, and more. Recent studies have come out stating why sports drinks are bad for you as well (they can lead to weight gain, dehydration, hyponatremia, or excessive sodium, and energy crashes). Both energy drinks and sports drinks have negative effects on the body, including damages to your teeth. Read on for the top dental problems that sports and energy drinks can lead to.
Eroded Enamel and Increased Risk of Cavities
Sports drinks and energy drinks can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear out and erode. The enamel on your teeth is the strongest substance in your body, so it is an impressive feat if they can be eroded simply by drinking something. The reason why these drinks erode the enamel is because they are full of acidic substances, such as sugar. Drinking energy drinks and sports drinks bathes your mouth in all of these substances. While this may not be harmful if you drink these drinks rarely, the constant consumption of them (like many teenagers do) will cause the teeth to slowly erode. Studies show that sports drinks are more corrosive than energy drinks.
Due to the eroded enamel and other tooth decay, your teeth are unable to protect themselves. This can eventually lead to cavities and decay. Teeth will also become more sensitive to temperature and touch. Gatorade Blue had the highest acidity in sports drinks, and Red Bull Sugarfree was the energy drink with the most acid.
How Fast Will These Negative Effects Happen?
Your teeth can experience the negative effects of sports and energy drinks even after five days of continuous use.
What Can I Do?
If you drink energy or sports drinks consistently, stop. If you cannot, dilute them with water, decrease your intake, and do not sip them throughout the day, rather, down them all at once. Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming these drinks, as that is when your teeth are most vulnerable, rather, brush 30 minutes after you drink the substance. Drink the sports drink or energy drink cold, as it decreases the amount of acid in the drink. Use a straw to keep the energy drinks and sports drinks away from your teeth.