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Are sports drinks bad for dental health?

Unfortunately sports drinks are full of sugar and acids which over time can cause tooth erosion and decay. Marketers have been very clever in their promotion of sports drinks as a way to improve sports performance. Unfortunately, unless you are an elite athlete there is little benefit. Sports drinks like anything can be consumed in moderation, but there are more affective ways to stay hydrated.

The best way to stay hydrated after sweating it out in the gym or on the sports field is still…….water. Water is free straight out of the tap, and deals with dehydration in no time at all. And in Australia, our water also contains fluoride which has been proven to protect teeth and reduce decay.

One quick way of seeing what is contained in sports drinks and softdrinks is to have a quick read of the label. 

Labels will often not use the words ‘sugar’ or ‘acid’ so it is important to look for alternatives like the following. For instance, sugar may be honey, rice syrup or even organic dehydrated cane juice. For acidity look for citric acid (a flavor enhancer) or “sodium benzoate” (a preserving agent). As a general rule if an ingredient ends in an “ate”, it’s an acidic preservative of some kind.

These simple things to look for will help determine foods and drinks which are good for the health of your teeth and gums and will help you stay at the top of your sporting game.

If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to ask Dr Nick next time you are have your dental check up. 

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