Did you know that spots drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde are consumed by 62% of adolescents every day? Sports drinks are widely popular, and used by people of all ages. But, they are terrible for teeth, and can lead to cavities. Here’s why your family should avoid sports drinks for the sake of your teeth.
Most Sports Drinks Have too Much Sugar
Unfortunately, sports drinks can contain more sugar than leading cola beverages. All of that sugar does considerable damage to tooth enamel and provides bad oral bacteria with the fuel it needs to create cavities. Some of the leading sports drinks can contain up to 21 grams of sugar per 20 Oz bottle – which is just over half of the amount sugar that your body needs on a daily basis, according to the American Heart Association.
Acid Hurts Tooth Enamel
Most sports drinks contain a surprising amount of citric acid for added flavor, but extra acid on teeth can erode tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. Tooth enamel is literally the hardest substance in the human body, but it’s no match for a steady stream of acid.
Sports Drinks can be Counter-Productive
A large bottle (20 – 32 Oz.) of the leading sports drink can have more sodium than a bag of potato chips. The sodium actually plays a hydration trick on your body, and makes you want to drink more water – thereby quenching your thirst and hydrating your body.
Water is the Best Hydration Option
Water helps strengthen and clean teeth. With every sip, water cleans teeth by ridding them of any leftover foods or acids. It also washes away bacteria and sugars that can eventually lead to cavities. Water has zero calories, and helps restore the mouth’s pH balance to fight unhealthy levels of acid. Water also hydrates the body as it sweats.
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If your child is participating in an intense activity with constant movement and an elevated heart rate, a small serving of sports drinks may be okay on occasion, but water is always the better choice. If you have more questions on sports drinks versus water, please contact our office and we will be glad to discuses this with you.