Lots of people are trying to take better care of themselves, including many teenagers. Unfortunately, not all of the latest health fads are good for you. Take for example sports and energy drinks. These products can set you up for an unexpected trip to your dentist in Cody if consumed in excess.
“Like Taking a Bath in Acid”
That’s the way some health experts describe the effects of energy drinks on teeth. These beverages give a quick rush of nervous energy by dumping huge amounts of caffeine and sugar into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, in the process they not only harm teeth enamel, they can contribute to cavity formation.
Researchers studying this problem have measured the acid content of more than 20 popular types of sports and energy drinks. They’ve discovered that each of them can damage tooth enamel, especially when consumed on a daily basis. In some cases, the harm was apparent after less than a week of use.
Common Sense Is Key
No one is saying that energy drinks are never okay to drink. Instead, experts recommend limiting these products to occasional use. They also suggest the following guidelines:
- Following up energy drinks with a glass of water or a piece of sugar-free gum, both of which stimulate saliva production and help to return acid levels to normal.
- Avoiding other sugary products throughout the day. When energy drinks are consumed on top of sugar-filled snacks or fast food, the result is double damage to the teeth and gums.
- Waiting at least an hour after consuming an energy drink to brush your teeth. Otherwise the act of brushing may spread acid throughout your mouth, increasing its erosive effects.
Water: The Original Energy Drink
Each of us only gets one set of teeth. Rather than risking damage to them with energy drinks, why not try good old H2O instead? Here’s what makes this classic beverage the ultimate health drink:
- No calories. Drinking water will never add inches to your waistline. In fact, many authorities believe that water aids weight loss by helping the body to metabolize fat.
- No harm to your teeth. Plain water has no sugar and is pH neutral. This means it can never damage your teeth’s enamel.
- Promotes saliva production. Believe it or not, saliva is crucial for your dental health. It contains powerful anti-germ properties that help to prevent tooth decay. Your body needs ample amounts of water in order to produce saliva.
- Boosts energy. Many people walk around in a state of mild dehydration most of the time. This not only saps energy, it can cause mental confusion. The best way to remedy this problem is also the simplest: drink more water.
- Costs almost nothing. Water is an outright bargain, even when purchased in single serving bottles. Compare this to the high cost of energy drinks and the difference becomes clear.
The Bottom Line on Energy Drinks and Oral Health in Cody
The old saying “all things in moderation” is your best guide when it comes to energy drinks. Drink them only every now and then, if you drink them at all. That’s a great way to protect not only your energy levels but your teeth as well. We hope you have a happy and healthy 2019.
About the Author
Dr. Lance Anderson comes to Lovell by way of Douglas Wyoming, where he grew up on a dairy farm. Dr. Anderson earned his DMD degree from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry after finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming. You can reach his office online or by calling (307) 548-7654.