Energy drinks have become much more prominent in recent years, and although they may offer you a short-term burst of energy for when you’re feeling drained, the long-term effects could be disastrous for your teeth.
At Pickwick Dental, we aren’t just here to help you when you have an issue with your teeth. We also aim to inform you of ways you can help prevent problems from arising in the first place. So, here is a quick breakdown of the dangerous role that energy drinks can play in the health of your teeth.
What’s Actually in An Energy Drink?
For many of us, peeking at the ingredient list may be something we do on foods, but we may skip doing this for beverages. Energy drinks have quite the list of ingredients in them. To go along with the caffeine, ginseng, and taurine found in most energy drinks, there are various extracts and a lot of sugar.
A person enjoying an energy drink may not know precisely how much sugar they are consuming. Some drinks can have up to 62 grams of sugar per 16-ounce can, an extra five ounces more than a standard can of pop! To better understand how much sugar 62 grams is, think about it like this. That is roughly 15 ½ teaspoons of sugar per energy drink, which is about 250 calories.
What Do Energy Drinks Do to Your Teeth?
Now that we know what is inside an energy drink, let’s look at what they can do to your teeth. We know that sugar is terrible for your teeth. We’ve heard this a million times, but we may not fully understand how much sugar we are consuming and the effects it can have on our teeth.
There is a wide array of bacteria that live in your mouth. Some of these are beneficial to dental health, while others are not. The harmful bacteria can produce an acid as a byproduct of sugar consumption that can destroy the protective layer of your teeth, known as enamel. When this occurs, it’s called demineralization. Your saliva plays a role in combating this process by reversing the damage through remineralization, a natural body process.
The minerals in your saliva, the fluoride in your toothpaste and water can help your enamel repair itself. The problem is that this constant game of tug and war can lead to weakened enamel and cavities. Think of sugar as a magnet for bad bacteria. It draws it in, and then your body must work to remove it.
Should You Be Drinking Energy Drinks?
As with most things regarding health, everyone is designed differently. One energy drink a day for some people may not lead to any serious issues, while another person could have one once in a while and experience issues with their teeth. It comes down to your overall health and oral care routine. Should you eat 15 ½ spoonsful of sugar once a day for an energy boost? Probably not, but one now and then shouldn’t hurt you, as long as you maintain healthy oral care habits and see your dentist regularly.
Contact the dedicated and compassionate team at Pickwick Dental today to book an appointment, and make sure to be good to your teeth so that they will be kind to you.