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Sports Drinks Have Been Linked to Tooth Decay

How many sports drinks can you name off the top of your head? Over the past few years, these colourful electrolyte-laden beverages have become very popular. They’re associated with high profile sporting events and a lot of people now use them recreationally.

For many of these consumers, sports drinks seem like a good thing. After all, their favourite sports personalities drink them, and these are athletes whose bodies are in peak shape, both aesthetically and health-wise. They spend extensive time, effort, and resources towards improving their bodies. They wouldn’t load it up with junk, would they?

Many dentists disagree with this assessment, and they have valid reasons for their conclusions.

Sports drinks are made using sugar, colour, artificial preservatives, acids, and electrolytes. This formula is designed to replenish minerals lost through sweat and exercise. Sportspeople put their bodies through intense workouts, and if they don’t restore the lost chemicals quickly, they can collapse from dehydration or damage their internal organs.

For these active athletes, sports drinks are a form of first aid that allows their bodies to function under punishing conditions. For the rest of us, normal water is adequate, because we don’t exert our bodies to those levels. Plus, when we consume sports drinks recreationally, we are giving our bodies unnecessary instant energy.

This energy would ordinarily be derived from the food we eat. Since sports drinks don’t impact our appetites, we will still eat the same amount of food. And since our energy needs have been covered by the sports drink, this excess energy from food will be stored as fat. In this way, sports drinks can contribute to obesity, especially for people with sedentary lifestyles.

The real danger of casually consuming sports drinks is their acidic content. This acid weakens your enamel, making it more susceptible to erosion and tooth decay. Once your enamel wears off and exposes your dentin, the damage is irreversible. You will have to consider veneers.

Sports drinks are perfectly fine for professional athletes, but us ordinary folk should use them with caution.

If you’ve drunk one, wait an hour before you brush your teeth. Brushing immediately after could harm your teeth because the acid weakens your tooth surface, so when you brush, your abrasive toothpaste could do more damage. Rinse your mouth with clean water instead.

Keep in mind that weakening the enamel doesn’t just put your teeth at risk from toothpaste. It also exposes the tooth to attacks by bacteria. Excessive sports drink consumption can, therefore, harm your teeth, gums, and even your tongue, so when the thirst strikes, drink fresh water instead.

To learn more about avoiding tooth decay, or to book an appointment, call Dental Avenue today at 02 8004 0055.

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