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Are Energy Drinks Really Bad for Your Teeth?

While in some ways sports drinks are a better alternative to soda, that’s not the case when it comes to oral health. Sweet beverages are notorious for their adverse effects on teeth enamel, but what about highly acidic drinks? Dental experts say regular consumption of energy drinks can cause severe damage to your teeth. Why are energy drinks bad for oral health, and what can you drink instead? 

Are Energy Drinks Really Bad for Your Teeth?

What Are Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks are widely marketed as products that enhance physical performance, mental alertness and energy levels. In a Canadian retail sales report of sports and energy drink consumption, retail sales of energy and sports drinks are expected to reach a little over $1 billion in U.S. dollars in 2022. Within this category, the highest-selling type of drink in 2022 is forecast to be functional or fortified energy drinks. Two of the most well-known international energy drink brands include Red Bull and Monster Beverage Corporation. 

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How Energy Drinks Can Cause Tooth Decay

Ingredients found in energy drinks include:

  • Taurine
  • Caffeine
  • Guarana
  • Lots of sugar!

Energy drinks have a bad reputation when it comes to oral health due to their high sugar and acidity levels. Drinks high in sugar and acidity can cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel, which leaves teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and decay. 

Energy drinks essentially bathe the enamel on your teeth in a highly acidic liquid. The beverages can also cause people to grind their teeth due to the hyperactivity energy drinks can cause. The result can be tooth breakage and even tooth loss in severe cases. 

Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks and Oral Health 

Energy drinks and sports drinks cause cavities in the same way as soda — high sugar content and very high acidic pH. 

The bacteria naturally present in your mouth consume sugar, and the by-product is acid. When it stays in contact with the enamel surface for long periods of time, this acid can weaken the outer layer of the enamel. When you consume lots of sugar, this bacteria works in overdrive.

All energy drinks — even those low in sugar — are known for having a very low pH. When you consistently consume energy drinks, the high acidity can predispose you to a higher risk for cavities.

Natural Alternatives to Energy Drinks 

A few alternatives to energy drinks to consider are:

  • Green tea: Contains natural caffeine in trace amounts. 
  • Green juices and smoothies: Try using natural sources of vitamin B in your smoothies such as parsley, kale and spinach. 
  • Water: You may experience low energy levels when metabolic processes slow down. The best way to combat this? Drinking lots of water. 

Visit Your Family Dental Clinic at Least Twice a Year 

The beverages you enjoy can have a significant effect on your overall oral health. At Dental Choice, we recommend visiting a family dental clinic every three to six months for a professional cleaning, although the frequency of cleanings will vary on an individual basis.

During a cleaning, a dental professional will remove excess tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth and screen for problems such as broken fillings and fractures. Contact our team at Dental Choice or request an appointment today!

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