Dissolving Our Teeth with Energy Drinks | Delmarva Dental Services

Dissolving Our Teeth with Energy Drinks

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See our video “Energy Drinks Harm Your teeth” There is an epidemic of dissolving teeth in the U.S. and most everyone is anywhere.  Because it is slow like the erosion of the seashore by waves or the wind erosion of giant rocks in the desert.   It is all about acid and what acid does.  Acids dissolve stuff.  As if it weren’t bad enough that we get cavities from the acids bacteria make after eating sugar (See Cavities and their Prevention), now we’ve gone and made it worse.  We are causing our tooth structure to erode by drinking too many acid containing drinks.  Fourteen percent of schoolchildren ages 5 to 9 years have erosion in their permanent teeth and 43% of adolescents. Tooth Erosion So what is the culprit?  Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice and even wine if ingested frequently enough will cause tooth erosion.  Our serving size in America of flavored drinks has increased from 7 ounces in the fifties, to 12 ounces in the sixties, to 20 ounces in the late 90’s.  So the quantity is greater.  But that is not the main problem.   The two primary causes are the amount of acid in the drinks has increased and the frequency of consumption has increased.   Phosphoric and citric acid are added to most all of these drinks.  The drinks with the highest amount are energy drinks like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, and 5 Hour Energy. These energy drinks should be avoided entirely because they are 2 to 5 times more acidic than soft drinks and sports drinks like Gatorade.  Energy Drinks So you think you’re in the clear with fruit juice?  Not so fast fruit juices are more acidic than soft drinks. The most important factor is the frequency you drink acidic drinks.  Sipping over a period of an hour or more is much more erosive than drinking a drink in 15 minutes.  That is because when acid drinks or foods enter your mouth your saliva will slowly neutralize the acid over the next hour.  Constantly sipping never gives your saliva a chance to neutralize the acid.  And swishing the liquid back and forth between your cheeks is the worst because you are acid washing your teeth repeatedly. So what can you do?   No energy drinks, no sipping, no swishing. Drink water after we consume  an acid containing drink.  Never brush your teeth right after an acid drink or food because it increases the erosion. Wait an hour before you brush.  Use a low abrasive high fluoride toothpaste like Sensodyne ProNamel (See The Problem with Toothpaste and Tooth Abrasivity).  This is important because it puts a coating on your teeth which makes it more acid resistant to erosion and cavities.   * When acidity is referred to, it means titratable acidity not ph.  Titratable acidity is the amount of a liquid (usually Sodium Hydroxide) it takes to neutralize an acid.

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