Sports drinks, designed to replenish energy and minerals, can cause tooth decay.
Regular consumption of sports drinks can lead to increased dental decay and dental erosion. Most sports drinks are derived from fruit juices and contain high amounts of citric acid and sugars. Acid levels of the sports drinks range from pH 4.46 to 2.38. Enamel demineralization occurs at pH 5.5 and below.
The longer the drink lingers in the mouth, the greater the potential for damage. Holding or swishing the drink around the mouth should be avoided. Cool drinks are less likely to encourage erosion than warm ones. Using a straw can reduce tooth contact.
The American Dental Association advises that care be taken with all drinks that contain sugar and have a low pH level. Included are sodas as well as sports drinks and citrus fruit juice drinks. When consumed in excess or allowed to remain in contact with the teeth for long periods, they can contribute to tooth decay and to general enamel loss. When consumed in moderation, with proper daily dental hygiene, they are generally safe for teeth.