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Energy Drinks & Your Teeth

Energy drinks and your teeth.

Dear Doctor,
My teenage son drinks a lot of those beverages that are supposed to boost your energy level. Are they bad?

Dear Shirley,
They certainly aren't good for his teeth. According to a 2012 study published in the journal of General Dentistry, energy and sports drinks, which tend to be highly acidic, can erode tooth enamel. And when enamel is damaged, teeth can become more susceptible to cavities and decay, and also can become sensitive to touch and temperature changes. Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels varied among brands, and even flavors of the same brand, but overall, the energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as the sports drinks. In light of this, the Academy of General Dentistry is recommending that people minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks, and to chew sugar-free gum or rinse their mouths with water following consumption of these beverages. Either of these actions will increase saliva flow, which in turn helps bring the acidity levels in the mouth to normal.

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