Many people are aware of the negative effects sugar has on the teeth and gums, but those who consume energy drinks should also consider the effects acid has on the teeth. Understanding how energy drinks affect oral health will help individuals make better choices regarding what they consume so they can maintain excellent oral health.
Energy drinks contain large amounts of citric acid – a weak organic acid mostly found in fruits and sodas – that strip away the enamel from the teeth. The more enamel the teeth lose, the more likely they are to develop cavities and eventually lead to tooth decay and/or dental erosion. Consuming excessive amounts of citric acid on a consistent basis can also lead to loss of bone mass, along with other health issues. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of how much citric acid is in their drinks because companies are not required to put that information on labels.
Because energy drinks are often fizzy, they are more likely to contain weak acids that have a pH value of lower than 5.5, which is considered more acidic and more harmful to the teeth.
Because most energy drink product companies market to children and teenagers, those age groups are most likely to be negatively impacted. Because they’re so young, their oral health could diminish well into their 20s if they’re not careful. College students also consume lots of energy drinks to keep them awake as they study for hours and complete rigorous assignments.
The best way to prevent the teeth from the negative effects of citric acid would be to refrain from consuming large amounts of energy drinks, as well as other drinks that have high acidity levels. For those who still want to enjoy energy drinks but also want to protect the health and longevity of their teeth, there are few solutions that may help. When drinking acidic drinks, it’s best to consume them quickly and with a straw so that the liquid is pushed to the back of the throat with little-to-no contact with the teeth. Consuming acidic drinks with meals limits the acid’s ability to attack the teeth. Drinking milk or eating a meal with cheese also helps cancel out the acid consumed from the drink. Lastly, brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste helps strengthen the teeth’s enamel.
At McBride Dental, our priority is to help our clients maintain strong, healthy teeth and gums. To do this, we offer a number of preventative care services designed to reduce the chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and any other oral complications in the future. As long as our patients maintain their scheduled appointments with us, we’re able to perform X-rays, deep cleanings, and more, to ensure their teeth stay in great shape. If you are in the San Diego area and are interested in scheduling an appointment with us, contact our office today at 760-471-1003.