27 Apr Smile care and sports drinks
In our last blog article we discussed how the amount of sugar in drinks can be surprising. Sports drinks in addition to having a high sugar content also are acidic, and are taken when the mouth is dehydrated with a lack of water to counter the sugar and acid. A real triple whammy for teeth. So what can you do to keep your teeth happy while you reach for your sporting goals?
Sugared and acidic drinks have significant negative consequences to long term dental health. They increase your risk of decay. Yet, the carbohydrate and electrolyte content of sports drinks do have performance and recovery benefits for our sporting endeavors.
Some of us take our sports seriously, and it’s good to push for personal goals, good to win, definitely good to win, or should I say just to participate. The Smile Team have team members keen to keep fit and participate too. It’s understandable that drinking sports drinks is a part of striving to perform the best you can.
Where practical, the following are excellent tips to looking after your teeth while consuming sports drinks, with the same tips applying to sugared drinks.
- Minimize the contact time your teeth have with the sports drink, drink it quickly, and don’t hold or swish it in your mouth.
- A straw or squeezy bottle can minimize contact time with the teeth by directing liquid to the back of the mouth.
- Use a ‘water chaser’ after sports drinks where the water rinses away the sugars and acid from the mouth. Please note that this helps a little but doesn’t get rid of most of the sugar and acid.
- Chew chewing gum for 30 minutes after drinking a sports drink.
- Don’t brush your teeth directly until 30 minutes after a sports drink. This avoids a situation where you’re brushing your teeth when the acid from the sports drink is present which could cause you to brush away your tooth enamel easily. Rinsing with toothpaste would be a good alternative instead.
- To counter your higher than average decay risk from sports drink consumption, when brushing morning and night spit out your toothpaste but don’t rinse out the toothpaste. Studies suggest this leaves 80% more fluoride in the mouth to counter and heal some of the damage.
- If drink sports drinks regularly, consider using a stronger Neutrafluor toothpaste and a tooth mineral Tooth Mousse cream available from The Smile Team and good pharmacies.
- Ensure you have 6 monthly dental examinations and x-rays every 2 years due to the elevated decay risk.
We’re definitely not promoting sports drinks, but if you have to have it for sport, your teeth are going to hopefully be a bit better off with our dental tips.