Energy drinks just as bad for teeth as soda, dentists say

Drinks with a lot of sugar rot your teeth but so do drinks with high acidity, health experts say.

That means another common drink that's very popular among young people and teens needs to be consumed in moderation: energy drinks and sports drinks.

They can damage tooth enamel and could increase the risk of cavities, health professionals say.

Dentists say there's a misconception that these beverages are healthier than soda for oral health, but a study done several years ago found energy drinks are twice as bad for tooth enamel as other drinks.

Dr. Gary Myers of Myers Pediatrics Dentistry and Orthodontics explained why energy drinks can be problematic.

First up watch the sugar. The container might show 19 grams of sugar but if you check the servings, it could show double that or more because it might be multiple servings per container.

Even an energy drink that is sugar-free will have acid that can still damage your teeth.

“Yes, there's no sugar to feed the bacteria, but it's still acidity, so you're supporting the environment that the acidic bacteria likes, and you're eroding your teeth with the high acidity,” Myers said. “Still not a health drink even though they have zero sugar.”

Myers pointed out it's best to drink these types of drinks quickly or with a meal so your body is making the saliva that repairs the enamel.

“It's one episode, one challenge to your mouth, and then your body starts to make saliva and then begins to repair it and build the minerals back up,” Myers said.

Myers also pointed out that you should wait about five or 10 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming sugary or acidic drinks or foods. 

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Anchor on The Morning Show team and reporter specializing on health issues.