Sports drinks hit the news today with a red light that their level of acidity is increasingly responsible for irreversible damage to teeth, especially amongst adolescents and younger adults, their predominant target market.
The report is published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, confirms the findings: “Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda
Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”The acidity levels are responsible for eroding tooth enamel, the hard, shiny, white outer surface of the teeth. Once this is compromised, the inner softer dentine can start to decay quite easily, with the tooth cavity making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.Researchers looked at acidity levels in 13 different sports drinks and found levels varied greatly between both brands and different flavors of the same brand.
Energy drinks cause double the damage of more balanced sports drinks. Some fifty percent of US teenagers are reported to consume energy drinks and as many as sixty two percent consume at least one sports drink per day. Parents and young adults should be made aware of the downside to the heavily marketed products, says the report.It is suggested that people minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks and also consider chewing sugar free gum to promote saliva production, as well as washing the mouth with water, to assist the body in returning the mouth to its natural pH. a little quicker.
Always wait at least an hour before brushing teeth to avoid rubbing the acids directly onto the tooth surface. Natural fruit juices and especially coconut water which has excellent re-hydrating properties, might make a better alternative to smart drinks, which are often loaded with sugar, caffeine and artificial ingredients, and can be costly, not only in purchase price, but also in dentistry bills.
With acknowledgements to Rupert Shepherd and Medical News Today