Energy and sports drinks can hurt teeth

March 13, 2008 at 6:04 PM

CHICAGO , March 13 (UPI) -- A dental group warns energy and sports drinks are the most damaging of the many tooth-damaging drinks popular in the United States today.

Raymond Martin, a dentist and spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry, says there is a rise in patients in their teens to 20's getting treatment for tooth erosion.

"They drink a great deal more sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks," Martin says in a statement. "The results, if not treated early, can lead to very severe dental issues that would require full mouth rehabilitation to correct."

Martin says a study published in General Dentistry said that the pH level of soft drinks isn't the only factor that causes dental erosion -- a beverage's "buffering capacity," or the ability to neutralize acid -- plays a significant role in dental erosion.

Martin advises limiting the intake of sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks. Using a straw positioned at the back of the mouth so the liquid avoids the teeth is a good idea, he said. So is rinsing the mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages.

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