Gatorade, Powerade, and a number of other sports drinks have gained popularity over the years. Their original intent was to provide hydration for athletes looking to replenish their fluids and electrolytes after training or competition. When used in this capacity, these drinks are safe and effective for people of nearly all ages. But as they surged in popularity, many began to drink sports drinks throughout the day. Misuse of these drinks can lead to other health problems like tooth decay and obesity.
So how can sports drinks be bad for you? The purposes of sports drinks are somewhat misunderstood as drinks that provide nutrition for children or adults. The reality is they are loaded with sugar and are very acidic. This leads to an increased risk for tooth decay, erosion of the enamel, and even obesity. While it is generally understood that sodas and concentrated juices can be bad for you, sports drink don’t have the same persona. This leads people to overuse or incorrectly use these drinks, and the health concerns can quickly follow.
One alarming area where we have found sports drinks to cause serious dental issues is with young adults going through braces or Invisalign. With braces on the teeth it is more challenging to remove the sugar deposits on the teeth. With Invisalign it is even more concerning if they drink sports drinks with the retainers in place. The Invisalign then acts as a reservoir for the sugary and acidic drink to attack the teeth. Be sure you discuss some of these factors with your dentist before you begin any orthodontic treatment.
Sports drinks can be very beneficial when used in the correct setting for recovery following exercise. But be sure you and your child understand the proper use of these drinks and how to clean up afterwards. This can save you a lot a issues with your teeth and health moving forward.
For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.