It looks healthier so it must be right? That’s the idea that many children and adults have when it comes to sports drinks. While just about everyone now knows that water is best, many believe sports drinks come in at a close second. But sadly, that’s just not the case. In fact, some sports drinks have almost as much sugar as soft drinks and are just as bad for teeth.
Enamel is the Protector of Teeth
It’s hard to get on board with something if we don’t understand it so let’s break down how it works. The enamel protects the teeth and is the outermost layer. When you drink or eats things high in sugar, it causes a reaction with the bacteria that is naturally found in the mouth. This creates an acidic environment in the mouth and softens the enamel on the teeth. When the enamel on the teeth becomes soft it can begin to deteriorate and decay.
It may seem like brushing your teeth right after drinking a soda or sports drink is an easy solution. Unfortunately, it takes around 20 to 30 minutes after finishing a meal, snack or drink for your mouth to return to a healthy, normal pH balance and for the enamel to return to its stronger state. If you brush before that time is up, you could further damage the enamel and erode it while it’s softened.
Electrolytes Are Often Overkill
Research shows that most of the sports drinks being consumed today are not being used for after sports as a rehydration tool and if they are it’s after a less than strenuous output of energy. Generally speaking, the more you sweat the more electrolytes you lose so unless your teen had an intense workout in the sun such as a weekend long soccer tournament, electrolytes probably aren’t necessary.
Water is the best option for hydration and your teeth will thank you. In fact, water has so many benefits for your body that go beyond basic hydration that if you up your daily intake of water you will see and feel the results.
For more information or to schedule you or your family’s biannual checkup and cleaning, call us at 602-680-5356.