Oral Health | Sports Drinks and Tooth Decay
By Roger B. Parkes, DMD on July 24, 2017
A recent study found that 89% of adolescents, ages 12-14, consume sports drinks. From the 89% who do drink them, 68% have a sports drink anywhere from once a week to every day! The popularity of sports drinks continues to rise and, with that, comes a higher level of risk for their oral health.
It is recommended to drink water while exercising, as this is the best option, not only for your general health but also for the health of your mouth. Sports drinks are created to replenish any fluid, sugar, and electrolytes that you may lose during your exercise. Unfortunately, these drinks are acidic and packed with sugars. These kinds of ingredients take a toll on your teeth if regularly consumed.
The popularity of this kind of drink does not seem to be dying down anytime soon, either. One-third of sport drinks manufacturers who were surveyed said that teens are their target market. Branding is a large part of the popularity. Athlete endorsements and flashy advertisements catch the eye of teenagers and lead to purchases.
Tooth decay is a major concern with regular consumption of these drinks. For example, in the UK, tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions for young children.
To fight tooth decay, one simple starting point is to limit the number of sports drinks you or your child consumes and replace them with water. On the dental side, brushing and flossing twice per day is critical to keeping a healthy mouth.
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