Do you drink Gatorade or Powerade? How about Vitamin Water or Propel? These drinks may be great for boosting your energy, but they may not be so great when it comes to benefiting your teeth’s health, especially
when it comes to the enamel on your teeth.
According to the International Dental Health Foundation, acidic drinks, such as these sports drinks, soften the tooth enamel which leads to tooth erosion. “Almost daily, I see patients come in with cavities between every back tooth in their mouth. When I ask them about their dietary habits, I often find that they drink several sports drinks a day,” comments Dr. Dan Fornetti, a dentist at Cigno Dental Care in North County, MO.
“When you drink several sports drinks a day, or swishing the drink all day long, it forms craters on the teeth where the cusps are,” says Dr. Tay Brown, another dentist at Cigno Dental Care.
The pH levels, ranging from 2 to 4.9, in beverages such as soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and tea seem to be the cause of the tooth erosion. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the acidity of the drinks is the main source of the eroding of the teeth enamel.
Enamel is the outermost layer on the tooth. It is made of calcium salts and is the hardest material in your body. Tooth enamel is essential to your body’s health because it protects the dentin, the main structure in your teeth that is inside the enamel, which is important to your teeth. Enamel contains no living cells; therefore, it cannot be replaced once it is gone. Acids can soften the tooth enamel in your mouth. Sports drinks happen to be acidic beverages, so it is possible that they might erode the enamel on your teeth.
One sports drink every now and then is okay; it is the repetitive use of the same drink that is causing the damage to the teeth’s health. Prolonged consumption of sports drinks can lead to the decay of enamel, according to the International Association for Dental Research.
For the people who drink a sports drink every day, the amount of acid that is on their teeth builds up each time they drink it. Therefore, the amount of their enamel that is softening also increases.
If sports drinks are so bad to drink, why do people still buy it? Most people consume sports drinks to re-energize when they exercise. Some use it to replenish the liquid they have lost while exercising. Others drink these beverages just because they simply like the taste.
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“It’s funny how people use it to replace sweat, which is really water; they should drink water instead of Gatorade,” says Brown. If your teeth are not looking so great and you drink a lot of sports drinks, you might want to consider eliminating the sports drinks from your diet, or at least cutting back because they can lead to enamel erosion. Catherine Gloss
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