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An alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth. Specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
People assume that these drinks will improve their sports performance and energy levels. They are also “better” for them than soda. However, it is not true. You are basically bathing your teeth with acid.
A recent study published in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry found that damage of enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks. Authors found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.
Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.
Dr. Andrew Huangof Santa Teresa Dental recommends that patients minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks. He also advises them to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water or baking soda (1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz warm water) following consumption of the drinks. “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” he says.
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