SAN RAFAEL, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – It’s common to see active, athletic teens chugging sports drinks on the sidelines to replenish fluids and boost energy. These teens may not be aware that these drinks could cause permanent damage to their teeth.
Dr. Greg Larson discusses the consequences of drinking sports drinks, in light of a recent study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry.
Nine energy drinks and 13 sports drinks were tested in the study. Researchers submerged human tooth enamel in various drinks for a 15-minute period. The enamel was then submerged in artificial saliva for two hours. The process was repeated four times daily for five days in a row, attempting to mimic a teen’s behavior. The enamel showed deterioration after five days. Researchers noted that the energy drinks were generally twice as harmful as sports drinks.
“This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours,” says Dr. Poonam Jain, lead study author and researcher. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
The American Beverage Association released a statement calling the study unrealistic to human behavior.
“This study was not conducted on humans and in no way mirrors reality,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, it is irresponsible to blame foods, beverages or any other single factor for enamel loss and tooth decay (dental caries or cavities). Science tells us that individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person’s dental hygiene behavior, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up.”
Enamel is important to our oral health, as it guards our teeth against cavities and decay. Sugars and acids found in sports and energy drinks are detrimental to our teeth’s enamel.
Superb dental health includes eating a balanced diet. Low amounts of sugars and acids will keep your teeth healthy and strong. It’s good practice to research the sugar and acidity of beverages before you or your children consume them.
San Francisco cosmetic dentist Dr. Larson offers pain free dentistry with sedation options. Our patients enjoy beautiful smiles through Invisalign treatment, porcelain veneers and laser gum recontouring. Contact our office to schedule an appointment for you or your child.
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