Teenagers’ love of energy drinks is taking a terrible toll on their teeth, scientists have warned.
A study published in the Academy of General Dentistry Journal charted an alarming increase in the consumption of both energy and sports drinks among young adults in the U.S. who use them to help get through the day.
But they said the habit is causing irreversible damage to teeth as the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth. In some cases it can take as little as five days for the eroding effect to begin.
‘Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are better than ‘fizzy drinks’.
‘Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.’
Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand.
Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.
We are seeing an increasingly number of teenage patients attend our practice with these symptoms not realising the damage that these drinks can do to their teeth.
We recommended to patients to cut down on their energy drinks intake, rinse out their mouths with water or chew a sugar-free piece of gum right after drinking the beverages. In addition, wait at least an hour to brush your teeth after drinking the beverages, as your toothbrush spreads the acid from the beverages all over your teeth increasing the erosive action.
THE ENERGY DRINKS TESTED IN THE STUDY
Red Bull 5-Hour Energy
MDX Full Throttle Fury
Rip It Red Bull Sugar Free
Monster Assault Von Dutch