When it Comes to Oral Health, Sports Drinks are for Losers
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
One might think that because competitive athletes put a lot of effort into building their muscles and caring for their bodies, they would have robust oral health as well. But that’s not the case, according to a recent study in an international medical journal, which found that although athletes may have good brushing and flossing routines, cavities and gum inflammation were still prevalent. This was chalked up to the tendency athletes have to use high-sugar, high-acid sports drinks, energy bars and gels to refuel their bodies during and after competition or workouts.
The orthodontists at Orthodontics, Inc. treat many accomplished athletes among our patients, making them aware that sports drinks are particularly troublesome for teeth with orthodontic appliances like braces and aligners. For those wearing aligners, damage to the teeth occurs when the sugar and acid contained in sports drinks seeps into the devices and gets trapped against their teeth. For a person wearing braces, white marks signaling that tooth enamel is being dissolved — a process known as decalcification — can become visible within months. Soda and other carbonated beverages can inflict similar damage to your teeth.
We want all our patients — not just athletes — to know that sports drinks may fuel high performance on the field, but there is a cost as well. We recommend drinking water or at least opting for brands with lower sugar and acidic ingredients. Drinking water between sips of your sports drink, drinking through a straw and making flossing and brushing part of your post-workout routine are also recommended.
Being a serious athlete doesn’t have to mean sacrificing good oral health. The orthodontists at Orthodontics, Inc. want all our patients to have winning smiles when the game is over. Contact our office today to get more details about our many state-of-the-art treatment options.