Sports Drinks Tearing Up Teens Teeth

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012, 10:30 pm

A study published in the journal General Dentistry found an alarming increase in the damage teen athletes are doing to their teeth. This damage is not done on the playing field, it is being done by constant consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks.

“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,” said study author Dr. Poonam Jain. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

To test the damage that the drinks can do to teeth the researchers soaked samples of human tooth enamel in the drinks for 15 minutes and then in saliva for 2 hours. This was repeated four times a day for five days to mimic the exposure that teens are typically getting. When not in testing the samples were stored in artificial saliva.

After only five days of exposure to either sports or energy drinks there was irreversible damage to dental enamel. Energy drinks actually caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks did.

How do you know if your teen is damaging their tooth enamel? The damage causes the teeth to become sensitive and more likely to develop cavities. If your child is complaining about tooth sensitivity they need to realize that their energy or sports drink may be the problem.

Minimize the use of these drinks and when they are used your child should chew sugar free gum or rinse their mouth with water to help return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal. Don’t have your child brush their teeth immediately after consuming these drinks – the softened enamel may be further damaged by the brushing action.

Remember, adults drink these beverages too! The same rules apply because adults experience the same type of damage.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 if you or a family member are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain. Working together we can protect your child’s smile.

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Category: cavities, oral health

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