A recent study shows that noncola drinks and sports drinks are three to 11 times more harmful to teeth than cola-based beverages.

One of the major components to enamel loss, according to the study, is the pH level of the drink. As a comparison, Mountain Dew (one of the most acidic sodas) has a pH of 3.22, while the sports drink Gatorade is more acidic, with a pH of 2.95.

Some precautions help reduce the amount of tooth enamel damage your patients will suffer from drinking sports drinks. Three tips to offer:

°Do not sip your sports drink. Prolonged exposure to the acids may
increase the amount of enamel lost, and decrease the time in which it is

°Rinse your mouth with water after drinking a sports drink; and

°Do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking these beverages, as toothpaste is abrasive and may assist the acids.

These tips, in conjunction with a good diet, proper oral hygiene, and regular visits to the dentist, will help reduce the loss of enamel and will in turn reduce risks for cavities, tooth decay, and osteoporosis.

[www.prnewswire.com, June 6, 2006]