Though sports drinks’ marketing campaigns emphasize their health benefits, their success is (at least in part) due to their flavor. If Gatorade tasted like prune juice, it would likely not resonate with as many consumers!
Consequently, sports drinks are guilty of “softening” your teeth up by adding sugar to their recipe. This encourages bacterial activity in your mouth, making it easier for “bad” bacteria to make their way into the weak spots in your teeth. If this continues for more than a couple of days the bacteria set up shop and start destroying the internal structure of your teeth. This is where your tooth structure slips from good health to decay.
Our bodies operate within a specific chemical balance window. We are constantly shown in advertising that sports drinks allow boosted performance by our muscles and other systems. They take our sport to “another level” and allow us to “Be like Mike”, a popular Gatorade marketing campaign in 2006 where, after drinking the popular sports drink, an athlete could showcase their talent without their bodies holding them back and emulate the sports superstar, Michael Jordan. While sports drinks do serve to replenish lost vitamins and minerals during the processes of metabolism and dehydration, it is easy to abuse them. The victim, of course…..is your teeth.
For some, these drinks have taken over as main sources of hydration over simple water. In many cases, these sports drinks are not even being used in sports scenarios. Vending machines at high schools and elementary institutions sell millions of these drinks every year to our children who carry around and drink them all day.
It is true that maintaining our chemical balance is essential for life and that, if maintained, we can perform at our best in sports. But that does not mean that constant drinking of sugary drinks will not affect our teeth. As with all forms of ingested food or drink, moderation is key.
Few realize that our teeth are also subject to an essential chemical balance which, when maintained, keep them from becoming brittle and opening themselves up to attack by decay causing bacteria present in your mouth. When we drink the regularly from sports drinks or other sugary drinks and juices, we make it easier for our teeth to become weakened by a localized and sustained acid attack. For those of you who love trips to the dentist, it shouldn’t be surprising that overuse of Sports drinks will get you better acquainted with your dentist!