Energy Drinks have become very popular. According to a report by the Academy of Pediatrics, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults. My son who is 21 years old would tell you it is much, much higher. Energy drinks are as ubiquitous to teens and young adults today as Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi was to my generation.
The potential hazards of consuming sports or energy drinks on a regular basis include problems with the heart, seizures, diabetes..but did you know that they drinks can also damage your teeth?
A study published by the Academy of General Dentistry found that both energy drinks and sports drinks eroded the enamel of teeth. But energy drinks have a higher level of citric acid and will actually erode your teeth more than sports drinks. But it’s not just the acid. The “buffering capacity” of a liquid is the ability a liquid has to neutralize acid plays a very significant role in the cause of dental erosion. High Energy and Sports drinks have the highest mean buffering capacity, which means they have the strongest potential for erosion of enamel. Once your enamel is gone, your teeth are much more susceptible to decay.
Both sports drinks and energy drinks can be filled with sugar which also contributes to tooth decay. It’s the dreaded double whamy..high acid and high sugar. Not good. But don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you are drinking a sugar free sports or energy drink that you are in the clear. The acid and buffering capacity of those drinks also can definitely harm your teeth.
Bottom line..be careful of your consumption of both sports drinks and energy drinks. If you have children in school, find out if your school has replaced soda pop in vending machines with sport or energy drinks. Be aware of the risks to your overall health and especially to your teeth. Choose your drinks wisely. Your teeth will thank you.