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Sports Drinks and Your Teeth

What your dentist in LaGrange wants you to know this football season

Football season is a great time of the year, but it’s also a time when you might start drinking more sports drinks to replenish your electrolytes and quench your thirst. You might not even be thinking about what those sports drinks are doing to your smile. Dr. James M. FootballMaragos, your dentist in LaGrange, Illinois wants you to know about sports drinks and your teeth.

Be sure to check the label on your sports drinks to find out the amount of sugar you are drinking. There is a wide range of sugar amounts in sports drinks, and it pays to purchase the drinks with the lowest sugar contents. Consider:

  • 20 ounces of Powerade contains over 7 teaspoons of sugar
  • 32 ounces of Gatorade contains 14 teaspoons of sugar
  • 20 ounces of Vitamin Water contains over 7 teaspoons of sugar

Compare these totals to:

  • 20 ounces of low sugar Powerade has one teaspoon of sugar
  • 16 ounces of Propel (Gatorade’s lower sugar brand) has one and a half teaspoons of sugar

Your dentist in LaGrange wants you to know the sugar in sports drinks mixes with the bacteria in your mouth and creates bacterial acid. This acid is strong enough to eat through your tooth enamel into the softer tooth layers underneath, resulting in tooth decay. Now, you have a cavity that needs to be filled.

You can decrease the damage of sugar on your teeth by taking a few simple steps. After drinking a sports drink, you should try and rinse your mouth with water, to get the sugar residue off of your teeth. You should even try to brush your teeth, however, that isn’t usually possible on the football field, so place a toothbrush in your gym locker for use after practice.

There are other steps you can take to decrease the effect of sugar on your teeth. Your dentist in LaGrange wants you to:

  • Try mixing your sports drink with water to decrease sugar content
  • Drink sports drinks with a straw to keep sugar off of your teeth
  • Drink quickly, don’t bathe your teeth in sugar by sipping your drink

Even diet, non-sugar sports drinks have acid, which softens the teeth. When combined with grinding, it can cause loss of tooth structure. So rinsing with water after drinking any sports drink is necessary.

So enjoy football season, but don’t let sports drinks take over your teeth and your smile. Take control of how much sugar you are drinking, and you will have a lifetime of beautiful smiles. For more information on how you can protect your smile, call Dr. James M. Maragos, your dentist in LaGrange, Illinois. Call today and get ready to enjoy football season!

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