We know that sports drinks are highly implicated in erosion of tooth enamel and dentin. There are other ways to lose tooth structure including brushing too hard, especially after drinking a soda or sports drink, grinding your teeth and acid exposure from gastric reflux disease.
How can we help our patients? Many times we see patients that has lost enamel as a result of several of these causes.
If we identify the problem early, we can educate the patient on how to brush, prescribe a soft tooth brush and fluoride toothpaste and possibly advise a mouthguard.
We suggest that a patient not brush right after drinking or eating acidic food and perhaps drink through a straw. Also, using chewing gum and a saliva substitute help if one has dry mouth.
Sports drinks have an increasing allure for many of us especially the younger population. These drinks, originally designed for athletes, contain a large amount of sugar, salt, and citric acid.
Believe it or not, these drinks are not as acidic as a cola but the sports drinks dissolve enamel 3 to 11 times more that a cola drink. Why?
Studies show that the citric acid added to these drinks maintains an acid level closer to the tooth surface over a longer time and binds up the calcium in the protective coating on the tooth.
Without the coating of calcium on the tooth surface, the citric acid can dissolve more tooth structure (erosion) and possibly leave the tooth susceptible to decay.
What our patients say: “Always responsive, incredibly thorough, follow up even when I drop the ball” – Anonymous
Want to lose a lot of the enamel on your teeth and make them sensitive? Just drink a few sports drinks everyday! And even better, you could sip them slowly or swish them around your mouth.
Recently the CDA Journal dedicated a complete issue to the erosion of teeth- the loss of tooth structure due to exposure to acids. These acids can come from our own bodies such as in gastric reflux or bulimia or from the foods and drinks that we consume.
Sports drinks were originally formulated for athletes involved in prolonged and intense exercise. But my concern is for all the other young people that consume them every day and don’t understand the long-term effects on tooth structure and future comfort. Next time, we will examine the effects and their causes.
Here is what our patients say: “I am very happy that my neighbor recommended your office…everyone has been very nice and professional” – Enrique
In February, I was lucky to participate in the ADA program, Give Kids A Smile program in Sonoma County. For one day, dentists, hygienists and assistants volunteered in many different locations. We conducted exams, sometimes took x-rays, and occasionally treated needy kids in the county.
It was an upbeat day with lots of volunteers and lots of kids with follow up treatment scheduled.
It seems a crime that in these times, dental decay is still the single most chronic childhood disease and that 90 percent of it is preventable.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children be seen no later than one year. Your child’s first dental visit in an investment in his/her future.
Here’s what our patients say: “Dr. Everson and staff are exceptional, their friendly professionalism and expertise is top notch…” Sam