Gary Oyster: Sports drinks decay teeth

December 1, 2013 

The Nov. 25 Life, etc. article “Sports drinks: Watch your sip” hit one nail on the head but totally missed another one. While it dispels the myth that sugary sports beverages are beneficial to everyone who exercises, it fails to mention the destructive effects these sugar-laden drinks can have on teeth.

Sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth to create acid. Acid, unchecked, erodes tooth enamel, causing caries or cavities. With today’s over-consumption of large fountain drinks, especially by young people, people’s teeth are almost continually bathed in acid, and the resulting tooth decay can be alarming. Add sports beverages into the mix and you can begin to understand why so many of us are experiencing high levels of decay these days.

As a dentist, I recommend brushing or rinsing your mouth out with water after every sports drink encounter. In reality, who’s going to go to that trouble in the middle of a track meet or after football practice? Best to avoid these sugar-laden concoctions all together and stick to water. If you’re a sports drink “fanatic,” be sure to visit your dentist regularly.

Gary Oyster

Raleigh

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