Needless to say, modern life is exhausting. Between work, family, and constantly checking your Twitter feed, you never seem to have enough energy to make it throughout the day without feeling like you need a nap or two. Thankfully, no matter where you might be, you probably barely have to walk three feet to find a place that sells energy drinks. More and more people are relying on these boosting beverages to survive the day, and while they might recharge your batteries, your dentist in Lincoln says they can cause serious damage to your teeth over time. Read on to learn why and what you can do to protect your teeth while still enjoying liquid energy.
The Dangers of Energy Drinks
Energy drinks, just like sodas and fruit juices, are absolutely packed to the gills with sugar. When sugar makes contact with the teeth, bacteria in the mouth consumes it, and this causes it to produce an acidic byproduct called plaque. Daily brushing and flossing are needed to remove this plaque, otherwise, it will simply sit on your teeth and break down the enamel, eventually causing a cavity. Because energy drinks contain SO MUCH added sugar, they basically put this process into overdrive.
Plus, when it comes to dental decay, it’s not just the amount of sugar that matters, but the duration of exposure as well. If someone sips on a single energy drink over the course of two hours, then that means their teeth are being bathed in sugar for two hours as well. This is much more damaging to the smile compared to just drinking it all at once.
On top of this, energy drinks are also highly acidic, even more than notoriously corrosive sodas. The acid actually softens the enamel and makes it more susceptible to decay, which means energy drinks literally pack a one-two punch for your dental health.
How to Enjoy Energy Drinks & Protect Your Smile
From your dentist’s perspective, one of the best things you could do for your teeth is simply avoid energy drinks like the plague. However, this simply isn’t possible for many people who need a little help to make it through the workday. So, here are a few things you can do to lessen the impact energy drinks have on your oral health:
- Drink them with a straw so that the liquid passes your teeth and goes straight down your throat.
- After drinking one, rinse your mouth with water.
- Wait for 30 minutes after having an energy drink to brush your teeth. If you brush any sooner, your enamel will still be softened from the acid, and brushing may actually damage it.
- Lastly, reduce your intake of energy drinks. Switching out one or more every day for water will do a tremendous amount of good for your smile.
Yes, energy drinks are some of the worst things you can consume as far as your teeth are concerned, but by drinking a few less each week, consistently cleaning your teeth at home, and seeing your Lincoln dentist on a regular basis, you can keep your teeth healthy and have the occasional can of rocket fuel without worry.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist who has been practicing in Lincoln since 1992. He enjoys an energy drink as much as the next person, but overall, he says less is best! To get more tips you can use every day to keep your smile looking and feeling great between appointments, he can be contacted through his website.