Posted .

Summer is in full swing with camps, sports, and outdoor activities.  Could the drink you’re choosing to quench your thirst be wreaking havoc on your teeth?  Choosing sports and energy drinks full of acid may be at the cost of your teeth.

The study in General Dentistry published in May/June 2012, studied the effects on enamel by testing nine energy drinks and 13 sports drinks.  Human teeth samples were immersed into each drink for 15 minutes, and then followed by soaking in replicated saliva for two hours, four times per day over a five-day period. 

It was determined that the acid levels varied among brands and certain flavors.  Research concluded only after five days of the test period irreversible damage to the tooth enamel was evident.  Also, energy drinks caused twice the amount of harm to teeth than sports drinks caused.

According to the academy of general dentistry, 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consume energy drinks and as many as 62 percent drinks at least one per day.  Without protection of enamel, teeth can become cavity prone, sensitive, and more likely to decay.  Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible.

If you must drink a sports or energy drink it is suggested to chew sugar-free gum or rinse afterwards.  Chewing gum and rinsing prompts saliva flow which neutralizes acid production by bacteria.

Dr. Guter