Sports Drinks and Your Teeth

Sports drinks are common just about anywhere you see people being active, from the gym to the athletic field, from the backyard to the professional arena. These drinks are designed to quickly and effectively replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, but they also tend to contain many other ingredients that may not be so good for your teeth, including sugar, acid, and dyes.

According to a recent study, about 20 percent of athletes at the 2012 Olympics were suffering dental problems that could have cost them their medals. These included bleeding gums, toothaches, tooth decay, and other common dental problems, and almost half of these world-class athletes had not seen a dentist in the previous year. While none of the problems were necessarily tied to sports drinks, many top tier athletes do indulge in them regularly to maintain adequate hydration levels, and they eat high-carbohydrate diets. This can contribute to enamel erosion and tooth decay.

If you regularly drink sports drinks, Dr. Lozada recommends taking extra precautions to protect your teeth. Use a straw to reduce contact between your teeth and the sugary drink, and when you are finished, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugars and acids in your mouth. Wait about 30 minutes to brush your teeth to allow your saliva an opportunity to neutralize the acids, or you could risk scratching and damaging your enamel even more. Instead of depending on simple carbohydrates like crackers or chips to fuel your body, reach for apples, carrots, and celery instead. These juicy, fibrous fruits and veggies naturally clean your teeth and have nutrients your teeth and gums need for good health.

Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Lozada, dentist in Lancaster.

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