January 4, 2017
It is a well-known fact that you are what you eat. The saying is true when it comes to the health of your teeth as well. To promote your oral and overall health, you often choose healthier alternatives. One alternative many people choose are sports drinks. Many believe sports drinks are great for replacing lost nutrients when exercising and are better than soda for your teeth. But, you may be surprised to learn that sports drinks are just as damaging as soda when it comes to your oral health. As your dentist in South Hadley, Dr. Douglas Leigh has the facts you need to know about sports drinks and your teeth.
Are Sports Drinks Healthy?
You know that soda and many fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. As a result, you do well to steer clear of these sugary drinks. As an alternative, you might choose sports drinks. However, you might be surprised to learn that sports drinks actually contain more sugar than a can of soda. In fact, leading sports drinks can contain as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than a can of Coca-Cola. Not to mention, sports drinks are highly acidic. When you combine the sugar and acid contents of sports drinks, it creates the perfect recipe for tooth decay.
When you consume drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, the sugar sits on the teeth. When the sugar combines with plaque and bacteria in the mouth, it turns the sugar to acid. The acid then starts to slowly eat away at the enamel. Over time, the enamel will become weakened and holes will develop in the enamel, exposing the dentin. Now, a cavity has developed.
By consuming a drink that is not just high in sugar, but acid as well, you amplify the damaging effects it produces. Acid weakens the enamel, making the teeth more prone to the harmful effects of sugar. The dangers of sports drinks can be worse than soda because often sports drinks are sipped throughout sports and exercise instead of being consumed all at once. As a result, your teeth are being constantly exposed to the sugar and acid, increasing the risk for decay.
How Can I Protect My Teeth?
It is a misconception that sports drinks are healthy for both the body and your teeth. A healthier alternative is always water. Water is great for both cleansing the teeth and keeping your body hydrated. If you cannot avoid sugary and acidic drinks, like sports beverages, be sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking. As soon as possible, brush and floss your teeth to remove any sugar accumulations that can be clinging to plaque. In addition, you need to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup to help ward off tooth decay.
If it is time for your semi-annual dental appointment, contact Newton Street Dental to schedule your appointment for preventive care.
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