The consumption of energy drinks is a hot topic around our office these days. As children head back to school and get involved with their afternoon sports, these types of beverages are often a “go-to” drink before and after practice. Unfortunately, energy drinks – like Red Bull – do more harm than good for your body.
Also read: Chew on This – Gum is Not that Bad for Teeth
Researchers have found their high levels of acidity are responsible for “irreversible damage to teeth,” especially among kids. The acidity levels are responsible for eroding tooth enamel. Once this is compromised, the inner softer dentin can start to decay, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Scientists immersed samples of tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes and then replaced them in artificial saliva for two hours. The cycle was repeated four times per day for five days. After those five days, the damage was already evident!
I am encouraging all of my patients to limit their intake of energy drinks. If you must consume them, chew sugar-free gum or rinse your mouth with water afterwards. This will increase your saliva flow which can help return the acidity levels in your mouth to normal.
If you’re looking for an alternative to energy drinks, try reaching for natural fruit juices and especially coconut water which has excellent re-hydrating properties. These types of beverages have less sugar, caffeine, artificial ingredients – and they’ll save you money in dentistry bills down the road.