Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Sports season and trips to the dentist seem to go hand-in-hand, but it isn’t always for the reason you might think. While sports injuries call for an emergency dental visit to fix a broken or avulsed (knocked out) tooth, there is another reason why your dental visits should increase this time of year, and it doesn’t have to do with an accident at all, but instead, it’s what you’re drinking! Greeneville family dentists at Tusculum Dental Care want you to be aware of the oral health dangers associated with consuming sports drinks, and why more frequent dental visits may help protect your teeth.
Why are sports drinks bad for my teeth?
Sports drinks are commonly consumed among athletes, and even quench your thirst and rehydrate your body when you exercise or spend a lot of time outside working in your yard. The marketing of these products have become quite crafty, making consumers believe they are doing their bodies good when grabbing one of these beverages to rehydrate. While sports drinks certainly have their place, especially in cases of extreme heat exhaustion or sweating, they also contain a high amount of sugar and acids that are not healthy for your teeth.
The more often your teeth are exposed to sugar and acids, which breaks down dental enamel making your teeth more susceptible to decay and tooth sensitivity, the worse off your dental health becomes. This is especially true if you are sipping on a sports drink throughout the day, or even just for a few hours at a time. You’re essentially bathing your teeth in sugar water each time you take a sip. In fact, sports drinks aren’t any better for your teeth than sodas, according to U.S. News.
The good side to sports drinks
While sports drinks can be bad for your teeth, they certainly have their place and are necessary at times, which is why we aren’t necessarily telling you to never drink one again. Instead, just be cautious about when and how often you consume these beverages.
- Reserve them for a time that you really need it, such as when you are engaging in an activity that exerts an extreme amount of energy that leads to excessive sweating, or you are doing so in excessive heat.
- Drink it and then be done, avoid sipping on it for hours. If you are able to, rinse out your mouth with water afterward to cut down on the amount of residual sugars and acids that may be lingering in your mouth.
- Consider swapping them for fresh fruit and water instead. Both provide necessary hydration and natural electrolytes to fuel your body.
- See your dentist more often during sports season to stay ahead of any potential cavities that may develop.
While sports drinks can be damaging to your oral health, sometimes we still need them. We recommend more frequent visits to your Greeneville dentist for checkups during sports season, especially if you are consuming sports drinks more often than usual. Instead of waiting for a six-month checkup, you may need to come in at a three or four-month mark to ensure your dental enamel is healthy and not being infiltrated with cavities.
To schedule a checkup or learn more about ways to protect your oral health during sports season, contact Tusculum Dental Care by calling (423) 639-7575. We provide complete oral health care to patients in Greeneville, as well as the Alcoa and Erwin areas of Tennessee.