Are Energy Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?
At first glance, it’s not hard to see the appeal of energy drinks - after all, the prospect of an instant energy boost in a can seems like a pretty simple pick-me-up on days when we’re feeling a little flat. However, just like most things that seem ‘too good to be true’, energy drinks aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Often high in sugar, acid and caffeine, many energy drinks on the market can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to our teeth. Here’s why you may want to avoid or reduce your intake of energy drinks for the sake of your oral health.
What is an energy drink?
Energy drinks are soft drinks that contain a high percentage of sugar, caffeine or other stimulant.
Many people consume energy drinks during or after sporting activity, to enhance performance or focus at work, or as a way to overcome lethargy and tiredness.
Why are energy drinks harmful to teeth?
The acidic nature of many energy drinks can cause damage to the protective coating of enamel found on the surface of your teeth. Despite being the hardest substance in our bodies, repeated exposure to acidic substances can weaken our tooth enamel, leaving teeth more susceptible to decay and cavities.
What’s more, the high sugar content of a lot of energy drinks makes these beverages even more harmful, with weakened enamel meaning teeth are less protected against decay-causing sugar.
And acid attacks don’t just stop with our teeth. Once acidic beverages enter our digestive tract, they can cause damage to our bones too, with substances such as calcium and phosphorus becoming leached from bones in order to neutralise the acid.
Just how acidic are energy drinks?
The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured by the pH scale. This scale runs from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline) - so the lower the number, the more acidic the substance.
To give you an idea of how acidic energy drinks are, tap water has a neutral pH of 7, while energy drinks tend to come in at around 2.5 - 3.3.
Many prepared beverages are on the acidic side - here are the average pH levels of some other common beverages:
● Coffee: 4.0
● Orange juice: 3.8
● Wine: 3.4
● Black tea: 3.0
● Cola drinks: 2.37
● Lemon juice: 2.0
How can I reduce the damage caused by energy drinks?
While regular consumption of energy drinks is not recommended, if you can’t resist the odd one from time to time, try drinking through a straw to minimise your teeth’s exposure to the acid.
Another way to reduce the harmful effects of energy drinks is to swish your mouth out with water after drinking - this will dilute the acid and speed up the time it takes for your mouth to balance its pH to a more neutral level.
What are some alternative ways to boost my energy?
As much as we’d love to tell you otherwise, there are no quick fixes when it comes to increasing energy levels naturally and safely. However, a few simple lifestyle changes can make a significant difference to your energy.
Here are some proven ways to improve your energy:
● Engage in regular physical activity:
● Ensure you get enough sleep:
● Drink at least 2L of water per day:
● Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet:
● Practice techniques like mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety:
If you regularly experience low energy and tiredness, it’s important to speak to your doctor. :
Need to make an appointment to see your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practitioner? Our friendly team is waiting to assist - book online