Sugary sodas and sports drinks are sold in virtually every grocery store, gas station and corner market across the country. These unhealthy beverages are widely advertised on TV, radio, in print and online. People interested in pursuing healthy lifestyles are being misled into believing that sports drinks are somehow “good” for them. At the same time, impressionable youngsters are led to believe that drinking certain brands of sodas is “hip” and the thing to do. Not surprisingly, over 60 percent of American teenagers consume at least one of these drinks each day.
What is not being advertised about these sugary drinks is the fact that they're wreaking havoc on teeth. The acid and sugar content in most sports drinks and sodas work together to strip the enamel from teeth while coating teeth in sugar to cause tooth decay. Prevention of enamel loss is vital to the long-term health of teeth. Each acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes, which means every time a sip of a sugary drink is taken, the acid damage begins all over again.
If sugary drinks are consumed, it's best to do so in moderation. It's also a good idea to use a straw so the teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink. Additionally, taking a drink of water after drinking a sugary beverage helps rinse the mouth and dilute the sugars. However, as far as tooth health is concerned, the best thing to do is to avoid drinking sugary sodas and sports drinks altogether. Even diet or “sugar free” beverages still contain acid that harms teeth.
Instead of drinking sodas and sports drinks, try to stick with water. After any type of physical activity, be it running or playing soccer, water is more than sufficient in keeping the body hydrated and refreshed. Flavor can be added to water by squeezing in a wedge of lemon, lime or orange. For those people wanting a caffeine kick like they'd get from an energy drink, ice tea is a good alternative.
Without question, avoiding sugary beverages is one of the best things anyone can do for the health of their teeth. At our Huntsville, AL dental office, we encourages all our patients to take good care of their teeth by avoiding sugary drinks & snacks and by brushing and flossing regularly. We want all our patients to have beautiful, Healthy Smiles which will carry with them for a lifetime!