July 3, 2019
You’re standing in the grocery store and trying to decide which type of beverage you want to take with you on your upcoming hike this weekend. The colorful energy drink options call to you, making promises of hydration, restoring electrolytes, and quenching thirst. Contemplating your decision, you look over to the countless bottles of water, both big and small, and think about what you know about this powerful liquid. Energy drinks can be enticing, and with all the great flavors available, who wouldn’t want to guzzle down a delicious cherry concoction while hiking during the summer months? Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls that come with these types of drinks. Let a dentist share the reasons you should skip these kinds of beverages and opt for good, old fashioned water.
The Importance of Limiting Your Energy Drinks
Too often, you see teenagers on the football field or basketball court sidelines consuming a sports drink. It’s so common (and expected) that even Super Bowl winners are seen dousing the coach with a cooler full of this colorful liquid. While it may taste good, the sugar found in energy and sports drinks is enough to create serious problems for your oral health.
If you drink too much of this sugary substance, you can expect, over time, for your teeth and gums to be negatively impacted by the following:
- Tooth decay – Drinks that contain a large amount of sugar are known to cause tooth decay. The reason is that the sugar adheres to your teeth and causes acid production for harmful bacteria to burrow and eventually create cavities.
- Gum disease – When bacteria from sugary drinks form around the gum line, it can lead to plaque buildup that turns into tartar. As it spreads beneath your gums, an infection can occur as well as inflammation, resulting in gum disease.
- Sensitivity – Too much acidity and sugar in drinks can wear down your tooth enamel, weakening it and exposing the sensitive dentin layer underneath. This can make it difficult to eat or drink anything hot or cold because of the pain experienced by sensitivity.
But, it’s not just sugar! As we mentioned briefly, the acid does quite a bit of damage, too. Many of these drinks contain citric acid, which helps to add flavor and extend shelf life. It also strips your teeth of its enamel, and once that is gone, there’s no way to get it back.
The Benefits of Water
If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, strong, and free from disease and decay, bypass the colorful drinks and opt for water. That hike you’re planning this weekend will most likely require that you refuel your body with a liquid substance that can keep you hydrated. There’s no better solution that water to fulfill that demand. Without adequate amounts of water, your mouth can become dehydrated, and your saliva will decrease. This not only leads to harmful bacteria growing on your tongue and throughout your mouth, but it can also cause bad breath if left untreated. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and particles left on the tooth’s surface, and without water to keep salivary glands functioning at top speed, you’re putting your oral health at risk.
Put down the 32-ounce bottle that promises a delicious flavor that hydrates and refuels your body. Say no to the sugar and acidity, and instead, choose the one drink that will keep you hydrated and protect your teeth from damage and decay. Water has been and always will be the better option.
About the Author
Dr. Brett Noorda entered private practice in 1996, after completing his undergraduate degree in zoology from Brigham Young University, graduating cum laude, as well as his DMD from Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry. Dr. Noorda wants you to know that you come first. Because of his passion for dentistry and dedication to providing patients with healthy mouths, he and his team at Dental Excellence always strive to make sure you are safe, comfortable, and informed during your visit. To find out more about the services we offer, we invite you to visit our website or call (702) 456-7403.
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