While there has been plenty of news coverage on the way that energy and sports drinks affect your teen’s overall health due to the high levels of sugar and caffeine they contain, little has been said regarding the impact of these beverages on the condition of your teen’s teeth. A recent study has revealed that the astronomical increase of energy and sports drink consumption will only continue to grow, especially among teens, and these drinks are wreaking havoc on the enamel of their teeth. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Foust, wants you to be aware of these dangers, because damage to the enamel is permanent.
Your Teen’s Favorite Drinks
Sports and energy drinks are popular beverages across many different age groups, but the teenage demographic contains the most consumers. Teens drink these refreshments because they are popular, because they give them energy, and because they taste good, but put little thought into what is actually in the drinks. While news anchors frequently report on the effect of the high levels of caffeine and sugar, and the impact those ingredients have on weight and heart function, these drinks can also cause significant, and permanent, damage to the teeth.
That recent study, published in General Dentistry, states that individuals are literally giving their teeth an acid bath every single time they consume one of these beverages. The effect acids have on the teeth are permanent and can cause life-long dental problems. The study imitated the exposure level of a person who consumes energy and sports drinks a few times a day. What was revealed is shocking: it only took five days for these beverages to have an impact on the tooth enamel, and that energy drinks were twice as likely to cause tooth damage as sports drinks.
How to Protect Their Teeth
As many as 50% of teens claim to consume energy drinks regularly, in a manner similar to the tests conducted in the study. If your teen likes to drink energy drinks, they may already have damage to their tooth enamel, which is irreversible. However, there are ways to alleviate the impact of these drinks and prevent further damage. One important tip: chewing sugar-free gum or drinking water after having an energy drink will remove the acid from the surface of the teeth before it can destroy enamel. On the other hand, keep in mind that brushing the teeth after consuming an energy drink will actually promote erosion, so advise your teen to wait an hour to brush.
If you have concerns about the impact of sports and energy drink consumption on your teen’s teeth, contact Dr. Foust at Dental Impressions of Ankeny, IA. She can work with your child to ensure that they understand the effect of sports drinks on their teeth, as well as how to eliminate further damage. To schedule an appointment, contact our Ankeny dentist office at (515) 965-0230. We serve patients from Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, and Alleman.