The adult body is made up of around 60% water so, as you might imagine, water plays a key role in our body’s ability to function well. Exercising and playing sports pushes our bodies to their limit in many ways, so it becomes extra important to stay hydrated while working out. But you may have noticed that many sports drinks can contain a lot of sugar. Are sports drinks bad for teeth? Should you still drink them? Here’s what you need to know about hydration and dental health.
Hydration and Your Teeth
Hydration isn’t just important for the rest of your body, it’s also important for the health of your teeth. Being dehydrated and breathing through your mouth can affect your body’s saliva flow which in turn can lessen your body’s protection against cavities and gum disease. That’s because saliva is your body’s natural defense system against bacteria and plaque, so when you’re running low on saliva, it can leave your teeth extra vulnerable. Drinking lots of fluids can help with this, but it’s important to consider which fluids you choose and how they might affect your teeth.
Sugar in Sports Drinks
Electrolytes are important when hydrating, especially when exercising or playing sports because electrolytes are lost in sweat. Therefore, it is recommended that you drink fluids with electrolytes in it, not just plain water, to maintain optimal brain, organ and muscle function. However, many popular sports drinks also contain a lot of sugar which can put your teeth at increased risk of cavities. So, are sports drinks bad for teeth? They can be, but there are also many options.
When choosing a drink, keep your dental health in mind. It may be helpful to simply opt for a sugar-free version of your favorite sports drink. There are also lots of other options you may find on the shelves at your local grocery or convenience store. Electrolyte tablets have grown more and more popular due to their convenience, as you can simply drop them into regular water. Electrolyte infused water is another popular choice. If you’re looking for something more natural, coconut water, the natural juice found inside coconuts, is also a great source of electrolytes.
Keep in mind when checking out your options that not only are sports drinks bad for your teeth sometimes, but any drink containing high amounts of sugar can negatively impact your teeth, so make sure to read the ingredients and nutrition content on the label. If you can’t find a drink without sugar and need to get hydrated, that’s ok! Just be sure to rinse well with plain water afterwards and brush your teeth as soon as possible. It may also be helpful to ask your dentist about options that they might recommend specific to your needs.
Call our Austin Dental Offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.