Sports drinks are designed to replenish the fluids, sugar and electrolytes that may have been lost during strenuous physical exercise. Unfortunately, to achieve this replenishment, these drinks tend to be highly acidic and sugary – and due to their appealing flavourings, they are consumed much more frequently than required, and often not in association with exercise.
In reality, plain, unadulterated water is generally all that is required to rehydrate the body – even during exercise. Unless you’re exercising strenuously for extended periods of time in warmer temperatures, water will rehydrate the body as needed. During more intense exercise you may need to restore the electrolyte balance within your body, as there will be a loss of electrolytes through sweat. However, generally speaking, if you’re consuming sports drinks over water, you’re just adding more calories and harmful sugar to your diet – and your teeth.
The acidity of sports drinks in combination with the sugar content equals decay for your teeth. The more frequently these drinks (and other sweet, acidic drinks, such as fruit juice and fizzy drinks) are consumed, the more at risk your teeth are – particularly if you’re sipping them throughout the day, putting the acid and sugar content in constant contact with your teeth.
The acidic nature of sports drinks demineralizes the enamel of the teeth, leading to erosion. The loss of enamel leaves the softer layers of the tooth exposed to decay, eventually exposing the nerves – resulting in pain and sensitivity. The sugar content of sports drinks is used by the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids – again, further contributing to the erosion of the teeth.
If you’re concerned about the effects that sports drinks have had on your own or your child’s teeth contact us at Tindale Dental for an appointment with one of our professional Penrith dentists. Through a thorough examination, our caring dentists can detect any early signs of damage to the teeth and provide the most appropriate treatment and advice for the prevention of future damage. Give our practice a call today on (02) 4726 5400 for your appointment and let our dentists give your teeth a sporting chance.