It gets awfully hot in Florida, so staying hydrated is a must. This is particularly true if you’re involved in athletics or any kind of outdoor activity. We don’t want to stand between you and your electrolytes, but you may want to think twice before you start chugging that sports drink. At Breezy Bay Dental, we want to make sure you’re well-informed about what you’re putting in your body.
While some consider sports drinks to be healthy, they’re actually almost as bad as soda. Why? They’re full of acids, sugars, and dyes. When you consume these drinks, two things happen to your teeth: first, the acids begin to weaken your tooth enamel, which is meant to protect your teeth. Once the enamel has been compromised, step two begins: the sugars feed the bacteria that begin to penetrate the enamel, priming the teeth for decay and staining.
Those who consume sports drinks regularly are at a greater risk for three things:
Tooth decay, which results when acids eat away at the tooth enamel and creates cavities
Gum disease, which occurs when plaque builds on the teeth over time and cause the gums to become infected
Eroded enamel, which not only makes you more susceptible to cavities, but also wears down over time and causes tooth sensitivity
The most simple solution is to drink water instead of sports drinks, but sometimes that’s not realistic. When we’re out in the hot Florida sun, we lose essential nutrients as we sweat; sports drinks replace those nutrients, allowing us to continue at work or play. When consuming a sports drink is necessary, follow these tips to reduce the amount of damage to your teeth:
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water when you finish
- After rinsing, wait about 30 minutes before brushing; this will give your enamel time to recover from the acidity
- Limit the amount of exposure by drinking the drink (fairly) quickly; the longer you take to finish your drink, the longer your teeth are exposed to the acids and sugars
We encourage our patients to enjoy the Florida sun, but we want you to keep your teeth happy. If you live in Palm Harbor or the surrounding areas, we’d love to see your smile. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.