Don’t Let Sports Drinks Spoil Your Smile

When you’re intent on maintaining your health and fitness, the last thing you want is for the sports drink you down after a gym session to damage your teeth. 

Unfortunately, carbonated drinks often contain three different acids (carbonic, citric and phosphoric), which can dissolve enamel and promote dental erosions. But don’t despair – there are several ways to help protect your smile while still gaining the energy burst you need.

Sports drinks burst on the scene about 20 years ago. According to dental experts a noticeable section of the population, especially the youth, have some form of tooth wear. Sports and energy drinks, loaded with sugar (up to a quarter cup) contribute to it. Also, since they’re marketed as dietary supplements, they often contain unregulated herbal stimulants. These drinks can lead to sharp, rough and sensitive teeth, problems speaking or chewing and teeth, which look shorter or unattractive on smiling. This, in turn, can lead to self-consciousness as well as jaw and muscle discomfort.

To help prevent these problems when using sports and energy drinks, experts suggest the following:

  • Read the labels. Just because a drink has a healthy image, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
  • Never swish sports drinks around your mouth as this increases contact with the teeth and the risk of dental erosion.
  • Wait an hour after drinking a sports drink before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging the softened enamel.
  • Try an alternative that’s better for your teeth. Coconut water is less acidic than sports drinks, is hydrating, entirely natural and isotonic.
  • Get your teeth checked by an expert. An early diagnosis of erosion is essential so that simpler treatment, including monitoring and prevention, can be employed. Otherwise more complex treatment may be necessary to restore satisfactory function and a pleasing appearance.

So next time you reach for that sports drink think about your grin – not just the win.

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