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Energy Drinks May Make You Fight That Midday Slump, but They’re Also Awful for Your Teeth

Popping open a can of a popular brand of energy drink and gulping down the sweet contents may give you a boost, and the ability to fight that midday slump (especially when your day has been boring and unproductive), but you already know that these drinks are not exactly healthy. And they can have a particularly awful effect on the teeth.

There has been a story of a man who was addicted to energy drinks, which resulted in his teeth rotting, Healthline notes, highlighting what dental experts have been saying for years. But there have also been studies conducted on the effects of sports and energy drinks on the teeth, and it’s bad news for the tooth enamel. There is a misconception that sodas are worse for your teeth, and energy drinks aren’t so bad, but a study, published in the journal, General Dentistry (via WebMD), points to the damage these drinks cause to tooth enamel. Researcher Poonam Jain, from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, says, “they erode or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity."

The team of researchers looked at 22 sports and energy drinks (13 of the former, and 9 of the latter) that are popular with teens and young adults, Healthline reports. The study found that the acidity in energy drinks was twice as high as sports drinks. “The lower the pH, the greater the potential for losing enamel from your teeth,” Jain said. “Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, much harder than bone. But the hardest substance in the human body dissolves in these highly acidic drinks.”

Dental experts seem to agree that consuming drinks that are high in acidity regularly, do play a role in the destruction of tooth decay. “Sticking to beverages that are low in acid keep your teeth from wearing, ultimately protecting them from becoming sensitive,” Colgate advises. However, The American Beverage Association has disputed the findings, Healthline reports, saying in a statement: “No single food or beverage is a factor for enamel loss and tooth decay. Individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person’s dental hygiene, lifestyle, total diet and genetic makeup.”

Timberlake Dental notes that if you must drink an energy drink, do it at meal time, which will minimize the damage to teeth. “Drink them quickly and while you are eating,” the site notes, adding, “The saliva stimulated by your chewing and tasting food will counteract the acid in the energy drink.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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