Energy Drinks and Your Smile

 
Many of us have come to rely on energy drinks for an extra boost but have you considered their effect on your smile? These drinks can be very damaging to tooth enamel due to their ability to decalcify (or dissolve) the enamel, which is critical for maintaining the strength of the tooth.

What are the risks associated with energy drinks?

Energy drinks contain corrosive acids. These acids leach minerals out of your tooth's enamel. Enamel is the cover that protects the visible part of your teeth. Once your enamel is gone it does not regenerate. These problems are heightened for teens and adolescents because their teeth are not fully matured and therefore not as resistant to these acid attacks.

What drinks are the worst offenders? While we have always been taught that cola is bad for our teeth, recent studies show that energy drinks cause greater damage to your enamel. Energy drinks, sports drinks, and lemonade are the worst offenders. It's not all bad news! You don't have to give up your favorite beverages, as the damage they cause can be reduced by a few easy steps:
  • Drink an acidic beverage with food.
  • Use a straw to limit the contact with your teeth.
  • Wait before brushing your teeth, as your enamel is more vulnerable during this time.
  • After consuming an acidic drink rinse your mouth out with water.
  • Limit your consumption of these drinks and substitute a less acidic beverage.
  • You may chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum increases salvia flow which in turn neutralizes the acids that destroy enamel.
Watch your consumption of these beverages and be sure to let the teens and adolescents in your life know about the risks associated with energy drinks. We watch for erosion during regular checkups, and you can ask us about keeping your smile dazzling!
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