Energy Drinks and Your Teeth
Soda and juice can cause big problems for our teeth. The refined sugars they contain feed bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produce acid that eats away at enamel. A recent study found that just one can of soda a day increases the potential for decay by 10 times (link). With so many people turning to energy drinks, are they really any better for your teeth?
While energy drinks are mostly looked at for their stimulating properties the fact is that most contain high amounts of sugar. Brands that sell especially large cans - like 16 ounce or 20 ounce energy drinks - pose a special risk not only because they contain more sugar, but they also encourage consumers to drink sugar throughout the day. Drinking sugar all day feeds bacteria and increases the possibility of erosion. Looking at energy drinks more like soda is probably appropriate.
“Your teeth can only take so many hits of sugar each day. If you are turning to soda and energy drinks to pick you up throughout the day you could be creating an environment that is highly acidic; eating away at enamel and encouraging decay of your teeth,” says Dr. Lorentzen. He also points out that excessive amounts of caffeine can contribute to TMJ or clenching and grinding of the jaw. TMJ poses risks to your teeth and can bring about other health complications.
Dr. Lorentzen’s advice is to limit the amount of sugary drinks you have each day, as well as limiting the amount of caffeine you consume. “While some people might not be able to avoid these drinks completely, minimizing them is a great first step to maintain the health of your teeth.” Keep well hydrated with water throughout the day to prevent dry mouth and brush your teeth twice a day, or as prescribed by your dentist.
Contact us today if you need a regular exam and cleaning - our Lead Hygienist Jynnel is a favorite of patients of all ages. Regular exams and cleanings are a great way to maintain the health of your teeth.