perception that sports drinks are good, soda is bad. Sports drinks hydrate,
soda dehydrates you and, worse, is loaded with sugar. While you probably won’t
find any dental health professional recommending a soda any time soon, it might
surprise you to know what dentists view as the lesser of two evils—at least
when it comes to the well-being of your teeth.
loaded with sugar. In the short-term, they can re-energize you and rehydrate
you somewhat. But if you drink several a day you are putting your teeth at
serious risk. How? The sugar in the sports drink can combine with the bacteria in placque that has adhered
to your tooth’s surface. These acids
erode the enamel surface leading to cavities.
So is soda better for you than a sports or
energy drink? According to a study contracted by the Academy of General
Dentistry it is.
The AGD study considered what continuous
exposure to a variety of “soft” drinks would do to your teeth, specifically the
enamel portion of the tooth, over a 14-day period. Continuous exposure was
considered several servings over the course of a 12-hour period.
The results revealed the erosion of a tooth’s
enamel in milligrams:
Classic Lemonade – 30mg
Red Bull –
Fitness Water – 14mg
Tea – 9 mg
Coca Cola –
So, technically, soda is better for your
teeth than the sports drinks that promise to restore your electrolytes and
other health benefits. But does that mean dentists endorse soda over sports
The lesser of two evils is still an evil. What
that study doesn’t reveal is that good old fashioned water from the tap doesn’t
cause any erosion of your teeth over any amount of exposure. It also has no
calories. And, depending on your community, even offers fluoride.
Of course, it’s probably
not realistic to think that people can drink only water and never have a soft
drink. Moderation, as it is with everything, is the key. And if you want to have a sports drink or soda,
be sure to brush or at least rinse your mouth out with water shortly after to
lessen the exposure to those
sugars can do.