An hour or so of strenuous activities calls for some replenishing. While some health fanatics content themselves with water, others simply cannot live without their bottle of sports drinks.
For years, these beverages have been the must-have after workouts or a run in the park. Experts and fanatics consider sports drinks as the ideal way to replenish lost electrolytes, carbohydrates and fluids. One drink is enough to keep you going, they say.
But the mixtures of most popular brands do not just contain the goods. They also come with excess sugar and acid, similar to other types of fizzy drinks. This creates an acidic environment in the mouth, which damages tooth enamel.
There is nothing wrong with drinking sports drinks, but if you wish to minimise tooth enamel erosion, local practice Fresh Dental recommends the following:
NO Sipping for Longer Periods
When you sip a drink for hours, the liquid interferes with the saliva, which is responsible for neutralising mouth acid. The regular process of neutralisation takes about thirty minutes to an hour. But with sports drinks interfering, bringing the mouth back to a normal pH takes longer.
The saliva cannot complete neutralisation due to the constant presence of the acid. To keep the process going, limit sports drink consumption to specific periods or during mealtimes only.
DO Rinse Mouth After Drinking
Tooth enamel damage occurs when you expose the teeth to acid for longer periods of time. Rather than allow it to soak, rinse your mouth immediately after consumption. A glass of water is enough to wash away amounts of remaining acid and normalise the mouth’s pH levels. Since water has a neutral pH, no need to worry about acid levels.
DO Wait an Hour Before You Brush After Eating
Saliva takes time to neutralise the mouth’s acid. During that short period of time, the acid may still soften the enamel’s mineral content. If you brush during this period, you might strip the teeth of important minerals.
Rather than brush immediately after a meal, wait an hour. Doing so gives saliva time to neutralise the acid and strengthen the enamel.
Sports drinks need not be your teeth’s public enemy number one. Discipline and limits will even strengthen your relationship with this must-have for workouts.