Dr Jake Skowronski, DMD at Lakeshore Dentistry, has noticed an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, and its causing irreversible damage to teeth—specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
"Kids that play sports use these drinks and assume that it will improve their sports performance, energy levels and that they are ‘better' for them than soda," says Dr Jake. "Most of these kids and their parents are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid."
Recent research by the Academy of General Dentistry found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks. In fact, the authors found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.
With a reported 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consuming energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consuming at least one sports drink per day, it is important to educate parents and young adults about the downside of these drinks. Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.
"Teens regularly come into my office with these types of symptoms, and they have no idea whats causing them," says Dr Jake. "We review their diet, snacking habits and then we discuss their consumption of these beverages. They don't realize that something as seemingly harmless as a sports or energy drink can do a lot of damage to their teeth."
Dr. Jake recommends that his patients minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks. He also advises them to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of the drinks. "Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal," he says.
Also, patients should wait at least an hour to brush their teeth after consuming sports and energy drinks. Otherwise, says Dr. Jake, they will be spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.
Lakeshore Dentistry; Children, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
106 Argus Lane Suite C. Mooresville NC 28117
(704) 696- 2557