What You Need to Know About Energy Drinks and Your Teeth
Whether you’re a student or a working professional, chances are you might sometimes feel as though you could use a bit of extra energy in your day. Maybe you’re fighting off yawning in the late morning. Or maybe it’s the dreaded afternoon slump.
Energy drinks can seem like an appealing solution in times like these. A boost of energy might sound like just the right thing to wrap up an assignment or make it through an important meeting. Energy drinks appeal to all age groups. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one-third of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 regularly consume energy drinks. It’s important to understand how these types of beverages can impact your teeth, especially if you or someone in your family are drinking them every day.
What Are Energy Drinks?
These are a type of beverage that is a dietary supplement intended to provide a boost of energy and stimulation. To this end, energy drinks typically include ingredients such as sugar and caffeine in large amounts. They may also include other legal stimulants, such as taurine, guarana, and L-carnitine.
The effects of consuming an energy drink may include increases in alertness, energy, focus, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, many studies performed have shown that energy drinks are associated with negative health effects. In addition, energy drinks are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that there is no legal limit on the amount of stimulants they are allowed to contain.
Energy Drinks and Tooth Enamel
Energy drinks are typically much more acidic than other similar beverages, such as sports drinks. Because of this, they can have a significant negative impact on tooth enamel. Damage to tooth enamel means that your teeth suffer a weakening of precious protection.
This makes your teeth more vulnerable to bacteria. Such a situation may result in tooth decay or cavities. It could also make your teeth more sensitive, causing discomfort or even pain. Since tooth enamel does not grow back once it’s damaged, this can potentially lead to severe issues.
Other Negative Impacts
Regularly consuming energy drinks can also cause other dental conditions. These may include gingivitis and periodontal disease. Consuming energy drinks can also lead to increased acid reflux in some cases, which can result in cavities.
Each person’s body responds to dietary supplements differently. While some people may experience mild effects, they may be more intense for others. Depending on a person’s sensitivity to the ingredients in energy drinks, they may cause a significant amount of stimulation or a feeling of being “wired.” This can lead to teeth grinding. Also known as bruxism, the grinding of teeth can result in the weakening or breaking of teeth.
Can I Still Consume Energy Drinks?
As with many things in life, awareness of your habits is key when it comes to energy drinks. The best way to ensure you steer clear of any negative impacts from energy drinks is to avoid drinking them altogether. That said, there are ways to consume energy drinks while still taking care of your teeth. In order to minimize the potential impact on your teeth and gums, you should:
- Consume energy drinks in moderation — we do not recommend drinking them every day
- Use a straw — this will minimize direct contact between the acidic liquid and your teeth
- Keep it short and sweet — avoid slowly sipping an energy drink for a prolonged time
- Take proper care of your teeth — brushing after an energy drink will help remove acid
When brushing after an energy drink, you should wait about half an hour before you brush. This will give your saliva time to neutralize the acid. By doing this, you will avoid increasing the acid exposure on the surface of your teeth. With proper awareness and oral hygiene, energy drinks can be an enjoyable treat from time to time.
Call Passes Dental Care to Make an Appointment Today
Considering how the drinks you consume may affect your teeth is a step in the right direction. We can help keep you on track by getting you in for a regular cleaning. Our staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your teeth and the beverages you enjoy.