For many people, energy drinks are what get them through the day. Between long hours at work and having to take care of family, a little caffeine boost here and there can really go a long way. However, have you ever thought about how energy drinks affect your teeth? Your dentist in Lincoln says that they are actually one of the worst things for your smile, and here are 3 reasons why you should largely avoid them.
1. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar
You’ve probably heard since you were a child that sugar leads to cavities, but why is that? Your mouth is actually filled with billions of bacteria. Some are good, some…not so much. The bad bacteria actually feed on the sugar left on your teeth from the foods you eat, and this causes them to produce plaque, which is slightly acidic. Over time, this wears down the enamel, which is how cavities are formed.
One look at the nutritional facts on any energy drink will reveal that it is absolutely PACKED with sugar, often much more than sodas. Regularly drinking them literally bathes your teeth in cavity fuel.
2. Don’t forget about the acid…
Energy drinks are actually a one-two-punch for your smile. They are also highly-acidic, which as we touched on above, can cause your teeth to break down. With the sugar and high acid content working in tandem, you’re really putting your teeth under attack every time you enjoy an energy drink.
Even though many people try to quench their thirst with an energy drink, it usually leaves them feeling even more parched. This is because between the sugar and acid, it actually lowers the mouth’s production of saliva, which acts as a natural cleaner that removes any leftover sugar. When the mouth is dry, it’s the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and cavities to develop.
How to Enjoy Responsibly
So, with all of this information, does it mean that you should avoid energy drinks forever? Not really! The best way to think about them is like candy, as in, they should be an occasional treat, but not something you enjoy all the time. And, after you do, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to wash away all the sugar and acid. This will help protect your smile and stimulate saliva production.
In most situations, if you’re thirsty, the best thing you can do is just drink water. It’s easy to get for free, will help you stay hydrated, and your teeth will be much better off as well. When your life is already busy enough, limiting energy drinks will ensure you won’t have to add fixing a cavity to your hectic schedule!
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist who has been practicing in Lincoln since 1992. To learn more easy ways you can keep your teeth protected between dental appointments, he can be reached for questions through his website.