As we enter into the hottest time of the year, everyone engaged in outdoor activity is talking about hydration. Although sports and energy drinks promote hydration, they may also contribute to the loss of tooth enamel leading to tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss. Colas, which contain phosphoric acid, actually decay teeth less rapidly than sports or energy drinks because these “healthy drinks” often contain other organic acids negatively affecting your teeth. In a recent study non-cola drinks and sports drinks were three to eleven times more harmful to teeth than cola based beverages. One of the major components to enamel loss by beverages is the PH level of the drink. By comparison, Mountain Dew one of the most acidic sodas containing a PH of 3.22, Gatorade contains a PH of 2.95, and Surge has a PH of 3.02.
There are some precautions that, if used correctly will help reduce the amount of tooth enamel lost by drinking sports drinks. It is recommended not to sip your sports drink as prolonged exposure to the acids may increase the amount of enamel lost, and decrease the time in which it is lost. Rinsing your mouth with water can also reduce the effects of sports drinks. It is also recommended that you do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking these beverages, as toothpaste is abrasive and may assist the acids. These items, in conjunction with a good diet, proper oral hygiene, and regular visits to the dentist, will help reduce the loss of enamel in turn reducing your risks for cavities, tooth decay, and even osteoporosis. Remember once tooth enamel is gone, it cannot be replaced.
Barotz Dental has been raising cosmetic dentistry to an art for 25 years. Dr. Charles Barotz is a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry technology and lectures other dentists nationally. Barotz offers the latest in dental technology, including dentures, implants, crowns, veneers, Invisalign and a free consultation. Barotz Dental is on the 16th street mall, with free valet parking. For more information, visit DenverSmile.com, or call 303 595 4994.