Athletes of all ages and capabilities often consume sports drinks during or after their activities throughout the week. These drinks were designed with the goal of keeping athletes hydrated and restoring electrolytes lost during strenuous activities. Could it be that these very same sports drinks are bad for your teeth?
The truth is, sports drinks do contain some ingredients in them that create an acidic environment in the mouth. As saliva breaks down these ingredients, acidic byproducts are produced that etch away tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay. Some of the healthiest athletes with the strictest diets and preventive health practices have suffered severe tooth decay just due to their frequent intake of sports drinks.
Research shows that sports drinks do not rehydrate athletes any more than water. If rehydration is your concern, then nature has already given you just what you need. Water also cleanses the teeth, washing away acidic bacteria and moisturizing the mouth if heavy mouth-breathing is taken place during the sporting activity. Be sure to choose tap water as your water of choice, as bottled waters may actually have a lower pH and not even contain fluoride.
If you or your child consumes sports drinks, limit how often and what frequency they are. Greentree Dental recommends drinking them all at once, rather than sipping on them over an hour or two. This will limit the contact time with your teeth. Drinking water afterwards, or rinsing with water will also reduce the acid levels. Rather than keeping sports drinks with you during every workout, consider drinking them only during your competitive events when you are pushed to your maximum physical capabilities. For training and regular hydration, stick to tap water. Maybe you drink sports drinks regularly and have started to experience sensitivity or pain around one or more of your teeth. A regular check-up at Greentree Dental can quickly identify any areas of tooth decay that may have developed between the teeth due to sports drink consumption. We may also recommend a topical fluoride treatment to remineralize weakened areas that are susceptible to decay. Our athletes are concerned about their health, and that includes their smiles. Let Greentree Dental protect your athlete’s smile. From preventive care, sports guards, and restorative treatments, we’re always here when you need us.