You see athletes take sports drinks before the game and even during breaks. Sports drinks help keep them energized and hydrated, but are they good for the teeth? And is there a better alternative to them?
Before you head to the grocery or chug down another bottle of your favourite sports drink, read this first.
What’s In a Sports Drink?
Sports drinks help replenish water and minerals you lose due to sweating. It contains electrolytes, for one, which helps ensure optimal performance during your game.
But did you know that sports drinks have high acid and sugar content? They can damage the tooth enamel down to the layer beneath it called the dentin.
A sports drink can have as high as 14 teaspoons of sugar. That can be the amount of sugar you consume for every bottle you finish. Harmful bacteria love feeding on sugar and become acids that attack the enamel.
If you’re playing for a long period and are unable to brush your teeth right away, you also let the sugar linger long in your mouth. This gives acids even more time to beat down tooth surfaces.
Sports Drinks and Your Oral Health
Sports drinks and oral health don’t go well together. They can make the teeth more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.
When the tooth enamel is already too weak, this can result in your teeth becoming sensitive to hot and cold. A bite of your favorite ice cream can cause you extreme pain.
Daily consumption of sugary drinks can also lead to tooth decay. When tooth decay isn’t treated immediately, it can lead to gum disease.
Sports drinks can also cause tooth discoloration.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Teeth
Hydrate your body and replenish minerals you lose without harming your teeth. Always bring your refillable bottles with you if you’ll be out for a game and drink water when you can.