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Sports Drinks - doing more harm than good?

The acidity and sugar in sport drinks, especially when consumed over long periods of time or out of habit, can cause ‘tooth erosion’ and ‘decay’, which often lead to irreversible damage and the need for otherwise avoidable dental treatment.

Many sport enhancing supplements include ingredients such as citric acid to help create a flavour, and ingredients such as ‘sodium benzoate’ as a preservative for a longer shelf-life. These ingredients increase acidity and therefore increase the potential of dental erosion.

At Drummoyne Dental Practice we believe it is important to create awareness about the negative dental effects of regular consumption of sports drinks.

drummoyne dental practice preventive dentalBefore condemning sports drinks it’s important to note that occasional consumption is OK. Most things are OK in moderation! It’s when you form a habit of drinking certain beverages that damage your teeth that you’ll have a problem. The reality is many of these products are causing your teeth to erode without doing much to improve performance, hydration, or health.

Keeping hydrated

The easiest way to stay hydrated is to drink tap water before, during, and after exercise. It has the added benefit of being good for your teeth, unlike sports drinks that bathe your teeth in harmful sugar or acids. Water is free from a tap and cheaper than sports drinks from a bottle. Tap water is recommended which contains fluoride that helps protect your teeth in the long term.

Tips when drinking sport drinks

  • Avoid ‘swishing’ sports drinks around in your mouth.
  • Using a straw helps reduce damage from harmful beverages, as does drinking them cold.
  • Use water to keep hydrated, preferably tap water.
  • Discuss your training and nutrition regime with one of our friendly dentists. A regular dental review will detect early damage and offer preventive advice.