It’s summer in Reston, Virginia, and boy are we taking advantage of it! We’re outside more than ever, catching up on yard work, spending time with the kids since they’re out of school, and making a point to get together with friends and family for barbeques and bonfires. The problem with all that time outdoors is that we need to stay hydrated and, quite often, we reach for sports drinks to replenish our thirst. But before you twist the cap off of that bottle of PowerAde, Reston Serenity Smiles wants you to know how that refreshing drink could be affecting your teeth.
Sports drinks aren’t all bad. They do more than quench our thirst, they replace the minerals and electrolytes that we lose through perspiration. Still, if you’re not actively involved in a sport when you’re drinking one, you may want to opt for water instead. Here’s why:
Sports Drinks Contain Sugars
There is a reason that bottle of fruit punch flavored sports drink tastes so good: it’s full of sugar. And the sugar in the beverages we enjoy is no different from the sugar our children get from eating candy. If left to sit on the teeth, all sugars can eventually lead to tooth decay. The sugar rests on and between our teeth where they create sticky, cavity-causing plaque. Untreated, plaque can lead to cavities, gum disease, and ultimately tooth loss. Water is clearly a better alternative, as it does no harm to the teeth and it helps clean your mouth by rinsing away food particles and bacteria.
Sports Drinks Contain Acids
Acids are the enemy of your teeth! Acids wear away at the enamel, and enamel doesn’t regenerate; once it’s gone, it’s gone. Having weakened enamel makes the teeth more vulnerable. When you think about it, your teeth are being weakened by acid and then coated with sugar. Those are perfect conditions for cavities. Furthermore, your teeth become more porous and are more susceptible to staining. You may love that fruit punch flavor, but do you want fruit punch tinted teeth? Again, water is the perfect solution. It keeps you hydrated without causing harm to your smile.
Here’s the Thing…
We know that, sometimes, sports drinks are necessary. If you are running a race, competing in an intense game of basketball, or enjoying hours of mountain biking, water is not going to give your body what it needs. When you have to drink them, your Reston Serenity Smiles family wants you to take care of your teeth by doing two things:
1. Brush and floss as soon as you’re able. The sooner you can get the sugars, acids, and food coloring off of your teeth, the better. Don’t scrub, though; remember that your enamel has been compromised. You don’t want to add to the damage by brushing too hard.
2. Don’t sip all day, if you can help it. Doing so exposes your teeth to these damaging ingredients for hours and hours. Enjoy your sports drink while you are active, otherwise, stick to water so you don’t compound the damage.
We want you to stay healthy, and if that means occasionally indulging in a sports drink, we’re behind you 100%. Another way to stay healthy is by visiting your Reston Serenity Smiles dentist regularly so we can make sure your teeth, gums, and mouth are in good shape, no matter what you drink. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kazemifar, contact our office today.