How Sports Drinks Lead to Dental Problems for Many
Posted on 10/5/2020 by SmileCOS Dentistry
Sports drinks help you replenish important electrolytes that you lose when you sweat. They can prevent muscle cramps and spasms, and keep you hydrated during and after a workout. But these drinks are also loaded with sugar and acids that can be very harmful to your oral health.
Why Sports Drinks Are Bad for Teeth
Most sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar and acids. You probably already know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but acid can be detrimental to your oral health as well. The acids found in sports drinks can erode your tooth enamel, which is the protective outer layer of your teeth. Damage to the enamel makes your teeth more vulnerable to harmful bacteria that feed off of sugar, like the high amounts of sugar found in sports drinks, leading to cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease. The erosion of tooth enamel caused by acid can also heighten tooth sensitivity and make your teeth more susceptible to staining.
Do I Have to Stop Drinking Sports Drinks?
You do not have to completely cut sports drinks out of your diet. Just like other sweet treats and acidic foods or beverages, the key is to enjoy them in moderation. There are also a few things you can do to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of sports drinks, such as drinking them through a straw to reduce the drink's contact with your teeth, and drinking slowly to allow your saliva enough time to neutralize the acid. You should also rinse with water or mouthwash after consuming a sports drink, but make sure you wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, so you do not spread the acid across your teeth.
Finally, you can try healthier ways to replenish electrolytes and stay hydrated after a workout, including watermelon juice, coconut water, bananas, or just plain water. Contact our office to learn more.
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