Wendy Parker RDH
It’s that time of year again, where sports start up, we sign our little ones, our teens, and love watching sports starting with the football season. Along with that comes games and parties and lots and lots of food and drinks! Typically the drink of choice for young athletes are gatorades, powerades, and energy drinks to help with their performance in the games, however, I hope this season we think twice about our hydration drink of choice.
Some beleive that the energy drinks and gatorades are the best drink for rehydrating our bodies and giving us energy and better than a soda. However, in the recent years as we have seen an increase in soda and juice consumption by teens we have also seen an increase in tooth decay. Is there a relation? Of course!
“The big misconception is that energy drinks and sports drinks are healthier than soda for oral health” says researcher Poonam Jain, BDS, MPH, associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. (http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120503/are-energy-drinks-bad-for-teeth)
A study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of Dentistry, found that there is a significant increase in consumption of energy and sports drinks that is causing irreversible erosion of tooth enamel. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134319.htm)
Jain and her team tested 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. They tested six drinks for their effects on tooth enamel and found both types caused damage. Energy drinks, however, were twice as bad. Damaged tooth enamel cannot be fixed.
The six drinks they tested were Gatorade Rain, Powerade Option, Propel Grape, Monster Assault, Red Bull, and 5-hour energy. Samples were immersed in the drinks for 15 minutes and then the sample was transferred to actificial saliva for 2 hours and repeated 4 times a day for 5 days. This may seem a little excessive, however, some teens are drinking these bevereages or a combination of them at this amount. Their results were that the average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5%, and energy drinks it was 3 %. It was interesting to me that the drink that had the highest acidity levels was Gatorade Blue!
One that my kids love to drink! The other drinks with high acidity levels include:
- Red Bull Sugarfree
- Monster Assault
- 5-hour Energy
- Von Dutch
I don’t know about you, but I’d do about anything to keep as much enamel as possible!
What happens is that the bacteria in the mouth take the sugars and convert them to acid and that acid eats away at the tooth enamel. The more exposure the acid has to the tooth, the more opportunity it has to wear away the enamel and cause decay. So, if you have a habit of sipping on a gatorade, energy drink, or even soda all day, the more you are exposing your teeth to acid and erosion possibly causing tooth decay.
We recommend that if you do have these drinks, please make them more of an exception than the standard (no more than 1-12 oz. bottle/day), rinse with water after you drink them, and make sure you are brush and floss at least 1 hour after consuming them. Otherwise, you could damage the softened enamel from the acidic drink. And make sure you come see us so that we can help you maintain and protect your pearly whites! We hope you all have a great season of sports, fun, friends, and good food!
We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.
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