Another reason to stop drinking energy drinks: They are destroying your teeth! A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry found that the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth. Chugging down a Gatorade or Monster may seem like a relatively healthy pick-me-up, but researchers say you’re actually “bathing your teeth with acid,” and eroding tooth enamel.
“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda,” says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”
The study looked at the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks, discovering that the acidity levels vary by brands and even by flavor. According to ScienceDaily, to test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. This cycle was repeated four times a day for five day.
Researchers found that damage to enamel was actually only evident after five days of exposure, but just because it isn’t evident after one or two drinks, doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging your teeth. The authors also found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage as sports drinks.
If you’re one of the 30-50% of teens who drink energy drinks, or one of the 62% of people who drink at least one sports drink a day, it’s time to quit the habit. If not for your teeth, do it for your waistline! Think of all those excess calories you’re drinking!
Remember, damage to tooth enamel is irreversible! Energy drinks are not worth ruining your teeth for!