Effects of sports drinks and other beverages on your teeth
What we eat and drink can have a significant impact on tooth enamel.  A nice cold soft drink on a hot day is enjoyable, but is it good for your teeth?
Consumption of carbonated soft drinks has declined to a 30 year low as popularity of sports & energy beverages grows. Many people are still consuming beverages that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavorings and chemical additives .(1)  Many of these drinks have a sugar content as high as 20%.
Researchers at the University of Maryland Dental School conducted a study showing that certain soft drinks can severely erode dental enamel, which is the protective shell around teeth. Over time exposing dental enamel to both carbonated beverages and non carbonated beverages like sports drinks and ices teas weakens and permanently destroy enamel. (2)
In an interesting conclusion of the study, it shows enhanced enamel errosion results from effects other than simple beverage pH, most likely the additives within non-cola beverages that are necessary for achieving the desired palatability.
Most soft drinks contain one or more food additives used to increase acidity or to give a tart taste .(3)  The presence of these acids in beverages is important because their ability to draw calcium out of the teeth, means they can be very erosive to dental enamel. (4) The researchers concluded that the acidic flavoring additives in citrus drinks and iced teas cause more dental erosion because they raise mouth acidity which is long lasting. The acid in the drinks also causes the pH level in the mouth to drop, which stimulates the life cycle of mouth bacteria that causes cavities. Dental erosion is the irreversible, usually painless, loss of dental hard tissue that occurs due to a chemical process, such as chelation, without the involvement of micro-organisms. (5, 6, 7)

Contrary to popular belief, sports drinks are worse than soda for teeth. The study clearly indicated that non-cola drinks, sports drinks, clear citrus-flavored beverages and canned iced tea exhibited the most aggressive erosion of dental enamel. No differences were found between regular and diet drinks.
Sticking to water is always a safer choice, but if you choose to drink other beverages, reducing the residence time of beverages in the mouth by salivary clearance. The greatest damage occurs when soft drinks are continuously sipped rather than consumed over a short period of time. Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking soft drinks or sports drinks is also beneficial to help reduce erosion of tooth enamel.
Wait at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, before brushing teeth after eating or drinking acidic foods. This will allow your saliva to remineralize (harden) your tooth surfaces as much as possible.

Contact us today at 480-833-2232 to schedule your next appointment.

  3. Rugg-Gunn AJ, Nunn JH. Diet and dental erosion. Nutrition, diet and oral health. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press;1999.
  4. Cairns AM, Watson M, Creanor SL, Foye RH. The pH and titratable acidity of a range of diluting drinks and their potential effect on dental erosion. J Dent 2002;30: 313-317.
  5. Shenkin JD, Heller KE, Warren JJ, Marshall TA. Soft drink consumption and caries risk in children and adolescents. Gen Dent 2003;51:30-36.
  6. Pindborg JJ. Pathology of the dental hard tissues. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.; 1970.
  7. Ten Cate JM, Imfeld T. Dental erosion, summary. Eur J Oral Sci 1996;104:241-244

What's Your Story?
Dr. Margolis is in the process of writing a book about holistic/biological/alternative dental care that explains the connection between your mouth and the rest of your body. However, it is our patients and their good health that make the difference. We are seeking personal stories from our patients that present the health problem that encouraged you to seek our help and what dental procedure(s) led to better your health. 

We would love to hear from you! Please email us at, or call and leave your name and number and someone will contact you for additional details.  Thank you for your support!

Dr. Michael D. Margolis
Dr. Michael D. Margolis
Dr. Michael David Margolis, DDS, IMD (Doctor of Integrative Medicine), FIND (Fellow of Institute of Nutritional Dentistry) is a practicing Biological Dentist in Mesa, Arizona since 1984. Dr. Mike received his doctor of dental surgery degree (DDS) from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio Texas(1983) and his Doctor of Integrative Medicine from Capital University in Washington DC(2000). A former President of the International Academy of Integrative Medicine (, Dr. Mike is a member of the International Academy of Medical Toxicology (, the Holistic Dental Association ( and the Arizona Holistic Medical Association ( Dr. Mike has recently accepted the honor to serve as a member of the Advisory Board for the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Tempe, AZ. Dr. Margolis has lectured nationally and internationally on Biological Dentistry, CAVITATâ„¢ technology use and clinical application.

Give us a call today at 480-833-2232 to schedule an appointment.

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