Summer is just around the corner and Canton, Mississippi is springing to life with flora, fauna, and people who are itching to get out of the house and enjoy some time outdoors. With those outdoor activities comes overheating and dehydration, which is when many people are likely to turn to sports drinks to quench their thirst. Before you guzzle that Gatorade, the Dental Solutions of Mississippi team wants to make sure you’re aware of how sports drinks can affect your teeth.
Double the Trouble
All sports drinks have two things that make them bad for your teeth: acid and sugar. The acidity weakens your enamel, making it soft, porous, and prone to being stained the color of your favorite sports drink flavor. The sugar, which usually comes in the form of high fructose corn syrup, collects on your now-weakened teeth and around your gum line where it can cause decay. While water is ideal, we know that sometimes your body just needs those electrolytes. When this is the case, use the following tips to minimize the damage:
- Don’t nurse your sports drink for prolonged periods of time. The longer it takes you to finish, the longer your teeth are exposed to the acids and sugars that cause damage. Instead, finish your drink in one sitting then rinse with water if brushing isn’t practical.
- Wait before you brush. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s a bad idea to brush weakened enamel. After you finish your drink, sip on the water for about 45 minutes to give your enamel time to return to normal. Once you’ve waited, you’re good to brush and floss.
- Alternate between sports drinks and water. If you’re going to be active all day long, then you may need multiple sports drinks. In these cases, alternate between sports drinks and water so your teeth aren’t constantly coated in acids and sugars.
As with many things, moderation is key. On the occasion that you have no choice but to enjoy an ice-cold Gatorade or Powerade, follow the suggestions above to minimize the damage.
If you’re worried that you’ve already sustained damage from sports drinks, sodas, or other items that are bad for your teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to being your partners in health.