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Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

The Truth About Sports Drinks (and Your Teeth)

Sports drinks and braces for summer runners

Summer is here, South Dakota! As the temperatures rise and you reach for a cold beverage to quench your thirst think twice before you grab a pop or sports drink.

Soft drinks, including soda, sports drinks, even bottled fruit juices are acidic and damage the enamel on your teeth. Energy drinks are even worse!

In fact, exposure to these acidic drinks almost immediately causes softening of your teeth, exposing them to greater risk of damage. We never want our teeth to be softened and made more prone to damage. This is especially risky when you have braces. Pushing, pulling and moving them exposes them to a lot of stress.

Do You Really Need Sports Drinks?

Unless you’re an elite athlete needing every edge to be the best in the world, you don’t need sports drinks. What you need during and after physical activity is hydration and there’s no better source of hydration than water.

Unlike soft drinks, water won’t damage your teeth. Considering all the damage soft drinks can cause not just to your teeth, but your overall health… they’re just not worth it.

What To Do If You Drink Soft Drinks

While it’s important your primary source of hydration not be acidic, sugary drinks we know it’s probably not realistic to say never drink them. Most of us indulge at least occasionally, whether it’s a sports drink or a pop.

Enjoy these drinks in moderation, and follow these tips to take care of your teeth.

  • Enjoy in moderation. Don’t drink a lot of these sugary drinks!
  • Dilute them with water–not only will this reduce damage to your teeth, it’ll save you money
  • Drink soft drinks cold, warm temperatures speed tooth erosion
  • Use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth
  • Rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done
  • Wait 30-60 minutes before brushing. That’s right, wait. We’ve already mentioned that the acids in sugary drinks softens your teeth. Toothpaste is abrasive, to make it more effective at getting your teeth clean. Combine softened teeth with abrasives and you can expect to damage your teeth.

Have a fun summer–stay active, drink lots of water and enjoy soft drinks responsibly!