Now that summer is soon going to be upon us, your teeth will be facing a new threat – only this time, it’ll be in the form of cool, refreshing, deliciousness! In the summer, many people will be out spending their time in the sun playing sports or doing some other type of physical activity. In order to replace the water and electrolytes that the body sweats out, a person may consume an energizing sports drink. However, doing this may do more damage than you realize – especially to your teeth. As your trusted El Paso dentists, we at Picasso Smiles Dental are here to tell you about what makes them so harmful and why you should consider drinking something else instead.
Sports drinks are harmful because of two main reasons. The first is because they contain sugar. It probably doesn’t come as any surprise that a sugary drink will cause dental problems; it’s commonly known that too much sugar can cause tooth decay. Harmful bacteria in the mouth will actually feed on the sugars that you eat and produce acid, which will eat away at the tooth enamel and cause cavities.
The main reason why sports drinks are so harmful is that they contain high levels of acidity. The acidic level of a sports drink is at a significant enough level that it can start destroying tooth enamel in less than a week! By stripping away your tooth enamel, your teeth will be more prone to cavities and become more sensitive.
While the best thing to do would be to not consume any sports drinks, we understand that some people will still want to drink them occasionally. In those instances, we offer some suggestions to minimize the potential damage that these acidic drinks can do:
Rinse your mouth out after consuming a sports drink. This will keep the harmful acid from resting on your teeth.
Chew a piece of sugar-free gum afterward to neutralize the acid.
Use a straw to drink them, if possible. This will cause the sports drink to bypass your teeth and limit the harm it can do.
Consume it all in one sitting. While it seems like it would be more harmful, it’s actually much worse to sip a drink throughout a long period of time.
Wait an hour to brush your teeth after you drink something acidic. The acid will soften your tooth enamel and brushing right after that will wear your enamel down.
If you’re looking for an El Paso dentist to maintain optimal oral health, you can give us a call at (915) 800-7704 for our Westside office or (915) 800-7393 for our Eastside office. We provide a range of treatment options in order to address any dental needs you have. We can’t wait to hear from you!