For some of us, coffee and tea aren’t what we choose to start our days with. Some don’t enjoy the taste of a morning cup of joe and for others, having to wait a few minutes to steep their tea is an unappealing addition to their morning routine. For those who still need a morning caffeine boost, an energy drink may seem like the best option.
What you usually hear about energy drinks is that the ingredients are anything but healthy. Have you ever really dived into why? Or, have you ever considered what opening a can of Red Bull could do to your oral health?
When we hear things don’t qualify as being healthy, our first thought tends to be concerned for our internal health, rather than our oral health. But drinking an energy drink does have a lasting effect on your smile, and whether or not you should reach for that Red Bull is a consideration that is worth weighing.
How do energy drinks affect your oral health?
High acidity level
Energy drinks are known to have a high acidity level and a very low pH level. Anything that has this runs the risk of stripping the enamel on our teeth which can leave behind irreversible damage. Drinking an entire energy drink is like soaking your teeth in this harmful, highly acidic substance. Consistent acidic exposure predisposes your teeth to cavities and without treatment, you can experience tooth decay. The high acidity thins out the enamel on your teeth and when your tooth enamel is damaged, it’s something that cannot be fixed.
While there are varying levels of sugar content in a single energy drink, most have at least 27 grams of sugar! And a high sugar content directly correlates to the risk of cavities. The bacteria in our mouth eat sugar and when this happens, the result is an acidic substance. As noted above, with prolonged acid exposure to the enamel, the outer surface of our teeth begins to weaken and can eventually cause a cavity or even worse, decay.
High caffeine level
Because energy drinks deliver a concentrated amount of caffeine in a short amount of time, people may feel hyper-energized and they could potentially grind their teeth. We all have encountered someone who grinds their teeth at night, and we have likely all heard how that isn’t good for your teeth. If caffeine is now causing this in the daytime, you run those same risks of possible tooth breakage or even tooth loss in extremely severe cases of teeth grinding.
If you drink energy drinks, what are some hygiene tips for your teeth you can implement throughout the day?
Despite the risks of knowing that even one energy drink a day can be harmful, some will still reach for a can. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is to rinse your mouth with water as soon as you take your last sip. After you rinse, wait at least thirty minutes before you brush your teeth.
Visit Dr. Stephen Coates’ office regularly for a professional cleaning and during each visit, we’ll be sure to take care of your smile. Our experienced dental team can provide pointers for at-home oral care. Give us a call to book your appointment at 562-434-6414 or use this link to request an appointment.