May 21, 2019
In recent years, energy and sports drinks have quickly overtaken soft drinks in the hands of teenagers and young adults. The Academy of General Dentistry reported that 30 % – 50 % of teens drink energy drinks or sports drinks daily or multiple times a week. A misconception that these drinks are ‘healthier’ than soft drinks such as Coke and Sprite, has led to students often chugging Gatorade during sporting events and a Red Bull before exams. However, these drinks are just as bad as soft drinks for your child. In terms of dental health, both energy drinks and soft drinks contribute to decay and overall deterioration of the teeth.
A study published in General Dentistry in May/June 2012 concluded that energy drinks and sports drinks both “erode or thin out the enamel of teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.” (WebMD,2012).
Furthermore, each drink results in a reduction of the PH of the mouth from a 7.4, to 2 resulting in a highly acidic dental environment. This increase in acidity lasted for almost 30 minutes and accelerated dental decay
Although energy drinks and sports drinks should be limited as a part of a healthy diet, there are steps that can be taken to minimize their impact.
- Rinse with water right after drinking
- Chew Sugar free gum that has been shown to bring the PH level back to neutral
- Wait an hour and then brush the teeth. Brushing straight after results in the acid being spread all over the mouth leading to decay in teeth that would not have been impacted.
Remember, Happy children with healthy smiles.