Energy Drinks and Your Teeth
Over the last decade, energy drinks have become an everyday staple of American life. They provide a much-needed pick-me-up, and they come in all sorts of flavors and branding. What’s not to love? Well, like any sugary beverage, these drinks can have some nasty impacts on your oral hygiene. Add to that, many of these beverages are acidic, and you have a recipe for tooth decay. The sugar feeds oral bacteria which put out an acidic waste afterward. The acidity of the beverage combines with the acidity from this bacterial waste. Acidity can eat away at your enamel and expose the inner parts of your tooth to infection.
It seems terrible when put like that, but there are plenty of things you can do besides abstaining from these beverages. Brushing your teeth can help to remove the bacteria before it has a chance to damage your teeth, but make sure you don’t brush within thirty minutes of consuming any acidic beverage, as this may spread the acid around your teeth instead of removing it. Rinsing your mouth out with water can also be a great way to reduce potential harm. This can dilute the acid left on your teeth and wash away some of the sugar. Another easy trick is to keep some sugarless chewing gum on you and chew it after finishing an energy drink. Doing so activates your salivary glands which will help to mitigate the acidity and to rinse away some of the sugars.
Beverages like coffee and tea can be a useful alternative if you’re more interested in the energy boost from energy drinks than the flavor. These alternatives can still be high in acidity, but any sugar present in them must be added, meaning you can reduce the potential harm by a good bit. You can also use the above tips for mitigating damage from energy drinks with these more traditional sources of caffeine.
Of course, it is also essential that you go in twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning. Regular dental cleanings are one of the most potent tools in our arsenal against oral health problems. During these appointments, your dentist will not only get your teeth cleaned and polished, but they will be on the lookout for any long-term problems that show signs of emerging. Preventative measures are the best methods for maintaining good oral health.
At the end of the day, the truth is that we aren’t going to use our teeth without putting them at some risk. However, if we take proper daily care of them, go in for our Tulsa teeth cleanings, and make some effort to limit what we expose them too, then they can last us for a very long time. The danger comes in when we don’t take care of our teeth properly and when we let them marinate in sugars and acids. So, yes, energy drinks are bad for our teeth, but if we’re careful and intentional, we can still enjoy them without risking our oral health too much.