Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, even harder than bones. But despite their strength, enamel can dissolve as a result of consuming highly acidic energy each day.
Let your trustworthy McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental give you the inside scoop on energy drinks and how they can affect your teeth.
Are Energy Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?
The short answer is, yes, energy drinks have a negative effect on your teeth.
Because of the high sugar content and citric acid contained in many common energy drinks, your enamel is worn away after every sip.
What Are Energy Drinks Made Of?
- Caffeine: The caffeine content in energy drinks varies, but some contain as high as 160 mg.
- Taurine: This amino acid provides no energy at all, even though it is a common ingredient in most energy drinks.
- Guarana: Derived from guarana berries, this contains a high amount of caffeine. If guarana and caffeine are in an energy drink, you’ll be getting a double dose, which is not good for your heart or your teeth.
- Sugar: The average energy drink contains 55 grams of sugar, equaling about 14 teaspoons. Once consumed, it takes only five days for the sugar to start eroding your enamel.
- Citric Acid: On top of the sugar, energy drinks also contain citric acid, which also destroys your enamel. Once your enamel is stripped away, your teeth will be more sensitive and you may feel more discomfort after eating and drinking.
Are Energy Drinks the Cause of My Cavities?
Energy drinks are similar to soda in the fact that they contain high amounts of sugar and very acidic pH levels. Here’s how it happens:
- Sugar: There is a certain amount of bacteria that naturally sits in your mouth. When you ingest sugar, that bacteria mixes with it, creating an acid. Once this acid comes in contact with your enamel, it can start to wear away at its outer layer.
- pH: Most energy drinks have a low level of pH. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity level. If you are consistently drinking highly acidic drinks like these, it puts you at greater risk for cavities.
How To Reduce the Damage if You Can’t Give Up the Energy Drinks
- Only consume them during mealtime: To prevent the acid from wearing away at your enamel, it is best to consume your energy drinks with a meal. Drink quickly and while you are eating, as the saliva that is produced by your chewing will fight against the acid.
- Chew sugar-free, xylitol gum after consumption: By doing this, your chewing will once again stimulate your saliva production and bring your pH balance back to a more neutral level.
- Be aware of the risk you are taking: By knowingly consuming these beverages, you are putting yourself at a greater risk for cavities and other possible damage.
Healthier Alternatives To Replace Energy Drinks
- Green tea: This beverage contains caffeine, though much lower than the average soda or energy drink. Green tea is also known to help sharpen your mind, improve your performance at work and school, and even reduce your weight.
- Ginger root tea: This tea does not contain caffeine, however, the energy boost it gives you will last much longer. It can also boost your immune system and prevent many diseases, such as cancer.
- Water: Considered one of the best drinks to sustain energy, water is crucial in preventing dehydration, loss of energy, and fatigue.
- Protein shakes: Fatigue can happen due to a lack of protein in the diet. Protein shakes work well in sustaining your energy when combined with fruits and dairy, such as milk, yogurt, and eggs.
- Fresh juice: Drinking fresh fruit juices can increase your energy level due to the various nutritional elements they contain such as iron, protein, and carbohydrates.
- Coffee: Compared to energy drinks, coffee contains a much lower amount of caffeine. Whether you drink it hot or iced, there are various ways to get it with less sugar or sugar-free, while also getting a little caffeine kick out of it.
For More Advice on Energy Drinks, Visit Your Trusted Mcallen Dentists at Whitewing Dental!
Energy drinks can cause major damage to your teeth for just an hour or two of extra energy.
By finding a healthy alternative and keeping on top of your regular dental visits and cleaning, you’ll protect your enamel from possible cavities.