Sports Drinks and Dental Health
Sports drinks can be a fast, easy way for athletes to rehydrate on the go, but heavy consumption of these sweet, acidic drinks could hinder your long-term athletic performance. According to one report, about 20 percent of competitors at the recent London Olympics were suffering from toothaches or gum bleeding, dental issues that could have kept them from winning. Nearly half had not sought dental care in the previous year. Dr. Frame encourages athletes at all levels to get the dental treatment they need.
Athletes often eat high-carbohydrate diets to fuel a grueling training schedule and drink energy drinks to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. This combination can contribute to enamel erosion and tooth decay. The drinks tend to be highly acidic, which causes enamel to become softened and susceptible to erosion, and the sugar content of the carbohydrates and drinks feeds oral bacteria. Training can also damage teeth by reducing saliva flow, which can slow the remineralization of enamel.
You do not have to quit your favorite sport to protect your teeth, but you can take steps to ensure your smile stays as strong as your body. Look for foods with complex carbohydrates that are free of added sugars, and limit your intake of acidic, sugary sports drinks. When you do eat or drink something potentially damaging, rinse thoroughly with water to dilute the acids. Chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth comfortably moist, and brush and floss as recommended. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Frame.
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