Lesson

Sports beverages

There has been considerable recent discussion regarding the harmful effects of sports beverages on teeth. Sports beverage consumption is increasing in athletes at all levels, and is encouraged by coaches and nutritionists. The use of sports drinks has been clearly shown to be erosive in vivo. A high intake of citrus fruits or drinks is another factor that can cause erosions.

In addition to limiting the overall use of these drinks, some of the steps that athletes may consider to minimise the harmful effects include all of the following:

  1. Dilute the drinks with bottled water.
  2. Rinse the mouth with water immediately after use.
  3. Use the sport beverages chilled to reduce the erosive effect.
  4. Use a fluoride mouth rinse twice daily to encourage remineralisation of the enamel.
  5. Use special toothpastes such as “Regenerate” to promote remineralisation.
  6. Avoid use immediately before sleep, when the buffering action of saliva will be reduced.

Acid erosion from sports beverages is becoming an increasing problem as the use of these beverages increases. Steps can and should be take to minimize the harmful effects of these drinks.

Gabriella Piccininni

Biomedical Engineering and Human Genetics (Undergrad) Stanford University