If you need a pick-me-up post workout, it’s time to stop guzzling Red Bull. It turns out, sports and energy drinks are responsible for permanent smile damage. In a recent study published in General Dentistry, researchers found that the high acidity levels in these types of drinks rapidly erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
Scientists studied the acidity levels in 13 big brand sports drinks and nine energy drinks, and while energy drinks were twice as likely to destroy enamel than sports drinks, they both are bad for your healthy teeth. The scariest part? That damage was evident after only five days of repeated exposure to the drinks, with test subjects consuming four of the beverages a day.
Damaged tooth enamel is permanent, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities and more likely to decay as we age. While new solutions for cavities could be on the horizon, you don’t want to make your teeth more susceptible to decay, especially when you may already have soft enamel. Enamel hardness depends on genetics, diet, oral hygiene care and other variables, which may make you more susceptible to decay. However, “if you are one who has ‘softer enamel’, there are treatments that your dentist can perform and also prescribe for you at home that can harden your teeth,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS.
The fact of the matter is water can rehydrate your body post workout and without the added calories and sugar. It’s important not to forget that what we consume not only impacts our overall health, but also greatly impacts our oral-health. If you do consume a sports or energy drink, make sure to chase it with water and brush and floss regularly. Also, don’t forget how important regular teeth cleanings are.
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