Energy Drinks Rot Teeth

This summer was extremely hot so I just wasn't thinking twice when it came to serving myself or my kids those energy drinks like Gatorade or PowerAde. I figured it was a very good idea to keep us hydrated and full of potassium so that nobody got heatstroke. 

 Like millions of women I also drink these calorie drinks after I work out and sometimes before.  I never dreamed in a million years that these types of drinks could actually be bad for you teeth. I had no idea that I was fueling tooth decay rather than my workouts!  

According to a press release put out by the California Dental Hygienists Association, the sugar in these power or energy drinks is leading to tooth decay.  What makes it even worse is that according to the study, the type of carbohydrates in these drinks also breaks down into compounds that make your saliva really acidic. Having acidic saliva is one of the main causes of tooth decay.  The carbs in these energy drinks break down into sugars that can really damage tooth enamel. 

The problem is made even worse by the fact that many athletes already suffer from what is known as 'cotton mouth' after exercising. Cottonmouth is just another word for having a really dry mouth. Having no saliva causes tooth decay as saliva act as a protective coating for our teeth against the acids that form in the mouth. This is why it is so essential to hydrate yourself fully hours before you exercise.  The best solution for post exercise dehydration after exercise might just be a glass of water if you want to protect your teeth from exercise related damage. 

To get rid of the energy drinks in my life I have taken to drinking more green tea and ginseng tea as both as energizers.  When it gets really hot I also make my own version of lemonade that is way less hard on the teeth.  I take a glass or plastic jug and fill it with ice. I then slice several lemons into halves and slices and squeeze them into the jug. I drop them into the jug with peel on and all. I then add about half a cup of sugar that has been thoroughly dissolved in hot water and muddle the mixture up with the ice in the jug.   The secret ingredient in this lemonade is about half a teaspoon of salt. Salt helps us retain water in the first place. Once everything has been mixed up I place this in the fridge. Over a day or two the lemons will infuse more flavor into the water making the lemonade stronger. You can then add more water as needed.  In fact the weaker this lemonade is, the more thirst quenching it seems to be. 

If you must use energy drinks it is probably a good idea to thoroughly brush your teeth afterwards or at the very least try to rinse the sugar off of your teeth by rinsing your mouth with water.