Energy drinks are a common sight and, like many people, you may enjoy one for the quick boost of energy or simply like the taste. However, energy drinks can harm your dental health and lead to the need for cosmetic dentistry. By understanding what makes energy drinks dangerous for your teeth and the effects such products can have you can take better care of your dental health.
Energy Drinks and Nutritional Content
Energy drinks are a big business bringing in billions of dollars in profit every year. Unfortunately, this widespread use can expose people to harmful ingredients that damage their teeth. When you drink an energy drink, you’re getting more than just caffeine. There is also a high acidity level to account for, along with a lot of sugar. The 55 grams of sugar some energy drinks contain is equal to 14 teaspoons of sugar. This is far above the recommended daily intake advised by dentists. Consuming these drinks every day can lead to tooth damage over a long enough period.
The Damage Energy Drinks Can Cause
Energy drinks chiefly damage your tooth enamel in a fashion similar to sodas. The acidic content of energy drinks slowly eats away at your tooth enamel. The naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth break down sugar creating an acidic by-product further increasing tooth damage and promoting bacteria growth, further cavities, and decay. The loss of tooth enamel leads to several oral health issues. It makes your mouth prone to bacteria, which can lead to infections. Over time these infections can lead to extensive tooth damage such as bleeding from the tooth root. The high caffeine levels that energy drinks contain can also cause you to grind your teeth, leading to further damage like chipping. Enamel cannot be regrown naturally; long-term tooth decay can lead to the need for dental implants.
PH Levels Explained
The saliva in your mouth has a pH level that is considered neutral, in general around 7. Energy drinks by comparison have a pH level of roughly 3. When you drink such a highly acidic drink, it causes the pH levels in your mouth to drop. The pH levels of your mouth do return to normal over time. While this ‘reset’ is occurring, your teeth are exposed to a highly acidic environment. This environment damages enamel and promotes the growth of bacteria. This damages both your teeth and your gums, which can lead to the need for cosmetic dentistry.
Replacing Energy Drinks
Finding a replacement for your daily energy drinks is challenging. Soda and coffee can be good second options but they also damage your teeth. Alternatives to consider include water (can help your body’s metabolic process), green tea (healthy and contains a small amount of caffeine), and natural smoothies containing healthy plants such as spinach and kale. When buying green tea or buying a smoothie, pay careful attention to any additives that can increase sugar content and bring down the overall healthiness of the beverage. If you doubt the nutritional value of what local cafés offer, don’t be afraid to make your drinks at home. When you make it yourself you know exactly what’s in it.
Caring for Tooth Damage
Beverage choices, diet, daily care, and overall lifestyle habits can have a notable impact on your dental health. Regular checkups with Dr. Tiffany Shields at Smiles By Shields can help keep your teeth in top condition and prevent future dental issues. In addition to holistic cleaning methods (such as tartar and plaque removal) and expert care, you also receive advice on corrections you can make to daily habits to keep your teeth safe from common issues. If you have any existing dental issues or need specialized care such as Invisalign, Dr. Shields can help you. Her care is effective, healthy, and focused on your overall wellness. She is committed to improving your overall quality of life.