Sports drinks and dental health

Many people believe that sports drinks are relatively healthy. They are full of electrolytes and quench the thirst that occurs when you have been exercising. They taste yum and aren’t fizzy so you can drink them quickly.

Unfortunately, sports drinks are not the best drink for the health of your teeth. Aside from being full of sugar THAT isn’t the worst of it. They also contain high amounts of acid which can cause your teeth to erode.

When you are exercising your mouth can become quite dry. This is often due to dehydration and the excessive breathing that occurs when doing high intensity exercise. The reduction in saliva protecting the teeth mixed with the acid wash from the sports drink make it a terrible environment for the survival of your dental enamel! If you sip your sports drink through an entire game of football you are exposing your teeth to the harmful effects of acid for nearly two straight hours!!
Dentist will always recommend water as the drink of choice for keeping the pH levels of your mouth stable. Water is also excellent for rehydrating your body. For elite athletes who deplete their electrolytes and need a bit more out of their choice of fluid intake, energy gels are preferred. They are ingested in a single ‘shot’ and reduce the exposure to the teeth. If you can drink water straight after, this will rinse the teeth of the acidic gel.

There are many drinks that are high in acid content. You should always aim to keep a low acidic diet, not just for the health of your teeth, but for your overall health. Some of the worst culprits are: Soft drinks (especially Coke which is almost as acidic as vinegar!), powerade, diet coke, orange juice, apple juice and Ribena. See the chart below for more examples the blue is the most acceptable drinks to the least in terms of acidity.

Avoid brushing your teeth straight after drinking a glass of coca cola or powerade. While this may seem like a good idea, the act of brushing the teeth while they have been softened by the acid will make them wear quicker.

As it shows in the chart above, water and milk are your best choices for low acidic content drinks. If you are going to drink a high acid containing drink, our dentists tip is to drink it through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth and then wash it down with a glass of water to best protect your teeth.
If you think your teeth are suffering from an acidic lifestyle, come and visit us at Diamond Dental to have a chat about ways to replace the acidic food and drink from your diet.

Yours,

The team at Diamond Dental