Sports drinks are used by athletes to stay hydrated, as well as those who are ill and need to replenish lost electrolytes. Despite the hydration benefits, however, more and more family dentists in Etobicoke are warning about the constant use of sports drinks, especially by young children.
Sports drinks were first created as a citrus flavoured sugar water in the early 1900s. Over the years, electrolytes of calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and phosphate were added as sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade became popular.
The Negative Effects of Sports Drinks
While sports drinks are a common beverage to consume when engaged in sports or strenuous activities, there are some negative effects everyone must be aware of.
Filled With Sugar
It is a well-known fact that sports drinks are marketed with less sugar content than a typical can of soda…but the reality is that they still contain significant amounts of simple sugars. These sugars promote growth of bacteria on the tooth surface resulting in tooth decay.
Sports drinks are known to be highly acidic, which can weaken the enamel of the tooth. The acids can wear the protective layer down to the dentin, resulting tooth decay and eventually, tooth loss.
Marks on Teeth
One of the more common issues that sports drinks cause is marking or stains on the tooth surface. Acidity, as seen with consumption of sports drinks can damage the enamel allowing dyes to stain the teeth.
Teeth Become Sensitive
Damage to the enamel from acidity, especially that seen with sports drink consumption, can cause sensitivity. Hot and cold drinks and those with high amounts of sugar can stimulate this sensation.
How to Protect Your Teeth
If you or your children regularly consume sports drinks and other sugary beverages, there are some preventive measures you can take to protect the health of your teeth.
Follow a Precautionary Routine
To protect your teeth and oral cavity when consuming sports drinks, it is recommended to rinse with water or brush your teeth after drinking the drink.
Drink Sports Drinks with Less Sugar &Acid
Due to public outcry, there are sports drinks available on the market with low sugar and less acidity content. Any form of these drinks with artificial sweeteners should be taken in lower amounts, if not avoided.
Drink Other Energy Fluids
A more “healthy version” of sports drinks can be made by adding electrolytes with water. Individually packaged electrolytes are available in different flavours without the added sugar.
Look for Natural Options
Hydration is key for good health including healthy teeth. For those looking for natural options to replenish electrolytes, consider pure coconut water, watermelon juice, or consume fruit with water.
Visit Princeview Dental for a Family Dentist in Etobicoke
As a dentist based in Etobicoke, Dr. Janice Mummery and her dental team at Princeview Dental Group offers family dental care. Based on individualized plans, our services are available for all dental needs at our dental clinic in Etobicoke. Contact us today to book a routine checkup, cleaning, or consultation.