Q&A with Beverly Hills Orthodontists Dr. Monica Madan and Dr. Erin Cohen about sports drinks and their relationship with your teeth.
Sports drinks are a staple for any workout. During exercise, you sweat to help relieve the body from heat. Sports drinks rehydrate the body while replacing carbohydrates and electrolytes, like sodium and potassium. Although sports drinks are nothing new to the market, their effect on teeth has not been at the forefront of discussion – until now.
Q: What are the stats on sports drinks and consumption?
A: A study published in the General Dentistry Journal found that energy and sports drinks contain a critical amount of acid that begin destroying enamel after just five days of consistent use of 15 minutes per day. Up to 62
percent of American teenagers consume sports drinks at least once a day.
Q: Which part of sports drinks relate to your teeth?
A: Sugar content and acidity.
Q: How much sugar does the smallest (20oz) bottle of Gatorade contain?
A: 35 grams of sugar.
Q: What advice do you give to your patients who consume sugary drinks?
A: At Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we encourage our patients to brush after every meal and to avoid foods high in acid and sugar. We also recommend MI Paste in order to promote re-mineralization of enamel as well as fluoride rinses like Phos-Flur and ACT. Good oral hygiene is of utmost importance. What good are straight teeth if they aren’t healthy teeth?
Q: Are sugars safe to eat?
A: According to the Food and Drug Administration, sugars are safe to
consume other than their “contribution to dental caries,” or dental decay.
Q: How does sugar impact your teeth?
A: Your mouth normally has bacteria that live on your teeth and even in the pockets of your gums. These bacteria metabolize sugar (particularly sucrose) from foods and drinks that you consume. When they break down sugars, lactic acid is the by-product.
Q: What other aspects of sugary, acidic sports drinks can you consider when thinking about the health of your teeth and how can you minimize the damaging effects?
A: Drink through a straw to avoid contact with teeth, rinse with water after
drinking these drinks, brush after meals and ensure you are consuming
fluoridated water to counteract the acidic potential of sugary and acidic foods and drink.
Q: Does this mean that everyone who consumes sports drinks will have erosive effects on their enamel?
A: Not necessarily. There are individual susceptibilities to tooth erosion and
dental decay. A person’s oral hygiene, specific bacterial content to their mouth, overall diet and lifestyle are all factors that can influence the outcome of sports drink consumption.
Beverly Hills Orthodontics can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org