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What energy drinks do to your teeth

London - Drinking sports and energy drinks is the same as “bathing your teeth with acid”, dentists have claimed.

The warning comes after researchers immersed samples of tooth enamel in 22 brands for 15 minutes at a time.

The marketing of energy drinks causes as much concern among caffeine researchers and paediatricians as the ingredients in these beverages, which also include sugar and herbal extracts. Credit: sxc.hu

They then left them in artificial saliva for two hours. The cycle was repeated four times a day.

Researchers said this simulated “the same exposure that a large proportion of teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours”.

Damage to the enamel was evident after just five days.

“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than other soft drinks,” said Dr Poonam Jain, from the Academy of General Dentistry in the US.

“Most are shocked to learn [they] are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible. Without it, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.

Dentists recommend that people limit their intake of sports and energy drinks, and chew sugar-free gum or rinse their mouth with water after drinking them. Dr Jennifer Bone of the AGD said: “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal.”

She suggested waiting at least an hour before brushing teeth after consuming such drinks, to avoid spreading acid around and causing more damage to enamel. - Daily Mail

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