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Are energy drinks bad for your teeth?

Are energy drinks bad for your teeth?
Energy Drinks, Good for Your Image, Terrible for Your Teeth

Before we get into whether energy or sports drinks are bad for your health, let’s talk about the most important facts about your teeth you need to know.

Fact 1: Humans, animals and even some fish have tooth enamel. 96% of it is minerals. It’s the visible part of teeth, off-white and very hard. So hard in fact, that it’s the hardest substance and has the most minerals in the body.

Fact 2: Your tooth enamel is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Without enamel on your teeth eating and drinking will become a nightmare. You may have to have all your teeth removed and get caps, or wear dentures for the rest of your life.

Fact 3: Acid destroys tooth enamel. It works so fast that even having the acidic liquid sloshing over your teeth as you drink it weakens the tooth enamel.

Fact 4: Brushing your teeth after drinking anything acidic is the worst thing you could do. The weakened enamel stands a greater chance of even more destruction.

Now the facts about energy and sports drinks.

Fact 1: Sports, energy and even some health drinks are acidic. Some are as corrosive as stomach acid and battery acid! No enamel is going to stand up against that for very long. Teenagers and sports people can consume up to four energy drinks a day and half of them drink at least one sports drink a day. That’s a lot of acid coating their teeth.

Fact 2: It’s all about the ph. The more acidic a liquid the lower its ph. Water and Milk have a ph of 7.0. So not acidic at all. Tomato juice has a pH of 4.0. A lemon has a pH of around 2.0. Stomach acid is generally between 3.0 and 1.0. Battery acid has a pH of 0.0. Common energy drinks range in pH from 1.5 to 3.3. For instance Red Bull has a pH of 3.3. Monster energy has a pH of 2.7. Stomach acid, energy drinks – not a lot of difference, acidicly speaking.

Fact 3: Good dental hygiene depends on a number of factors like your diet, genetic make-up, lifestyle, personal hygiene and how prone you are to dental problems in general. But pouring acid down your throat on a regular basis isn’t going to help your teeth.

Fact 4: You can tell when your tooth enamel is damaged and eroded. Some of the signs are:

  • Sensitive teeth

  • Teeth turning yellow

  • Teeth developing transparent tips

  • Teeth developing cracks or dents

  • Cavities

Fact 5: Sugar laden drinks, including fruit juices are also highly acidic.

Fact 6: Drinking a large glass of water after eating is a good way to wash down any food residue and acid remaining on your teeth or in your mouth. Drinking water after drinking anything that’s not water is also a good idea.

Fact 7: Brushing your teeth regularly and properly is also a good way to prevent enamel loss, tooth decay and gum disease. But wait at least 20 minutes after eating and drinking so you don’t damage the enamel.

Taking care of your teeth means having them checked regularly. Team Dental is one of New Zealand’s most experienced dental professionals. If you’ve been indulging in energy or sport drinks and are concerned that your enamel may be damaged, it might be time to make an appointment.

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