Are energy drinks bad for your teeth?
Yes, energy drinks are bad for your teeth for a number of reasons. They are worse for your teeth than sodas, coffee, and sports drinks. Energy drinks have all the same bad things that other sugary drinks do, with a few other added ingredients that make them even worse.
What Is An Energy Drink?
An energy drink is a product that is used to provide chemicals like caffeine to the consumer in a similar manner to coffee. Energy drinks however are typically marketed towards a younger and trendier demographic. These drinks are often flavored and carbonated. Energy drinks are preferred by some people as they are flavored and carbonated which can make them easier to drink than coffee.
The extra flavor comes at a big price. A cup of coffee is about 8 oz., most people tend to put 1-2 sugar cubes per cup of coffee which comes out to 4-8 grams. If we compare this to a standard Red Bull which is 16 oz., it has 27 grams of sugar per can! This means that for similar amounts of caffeine (100 grams in a cup of coffee, vs 147 grams in can of Red Bull) you are getting up to 10 times the amount of sugar!
Do Energy Drinks Promote Tooth Decay?
There are a few ingredients in energy drinks that directly promote tooth decay, these include:
- Sugar… lots of sugar!
So why are these specific ingredients bad for your oral health? Lets find out!
The main problem with taurine is that it is a very acidic compound. Acidity overall is bad for your teeth since it can ruin your tooth enamel. This can make your teeth prone to infection, as well as sensitivity, among others.
Guarana contains tannins, these chemicals are known to stain teeth, while some studies have shown that there are oral health benefits to Guarana, there are plenty of other ways to get the same benefits, without staining your pearly whites.
Energy Drink Alternatives
To get your energy fix in a healthier way, consider switching to one of these beverages:
Coffee is well-known as a way to get a quick burst of energy into your system. Coffee is fairly inexpensive (if you’re getting the basics) and actually has some health benefits to it as well, other than energy. Coffee making is also a pretty big hobby in certain circles so you may even find a new passion! Coffee can stain your teeth, so be careful in consuming to much of it!
Green tea has been used for centuries as a healthy way to add a little more energy to your day. Green tea also has many different health benefits! Green tea has been known to help fight type 2 diabetes, and prevent cancer, and it is even an anti-inflammatory! You can read all about the evidence-based benefits here. Just like coffee, tea can also stain your teeth.
Mushroom coffee is the new kid on the block, it hasn’t been around very long but it is a direct competitor to coffee and green tea. Mushroom coffee is meant to provide similar effects to regular coffee, without so much caffeine. A cup of traditional coffee has about 100 grams of caffeine, whereas a cup of mushroom coffee only has 50 grams. Lots of consumers of mushroom coffee are surprised that they get a similar kick of energy, but it comes with less anxiety and less of a jittery feeling than coffee.
Get More Sleep
More sleep is always the best, healthiest, and most beneficial option. If you are forced to drink caffeinated beverages due to a lack of sleep, you should make an effort to get to bed earlier. Lots of individuals say they often don’t have excess time for more sleep, but they stay up late watching Netflix or playing video games. If you procrastinate before you go to bed, it could be a sign that you have significant stress signals in your life. Dealing with these issues head-on is always better than putting them off.
It may seem counterintuitive, but expending more energy through exercise can significantly raise your energy levels throughout your day! Exercising also has the adverse effect of releasing “feel good” chemicals like dopamine. People who start exercising are often surprised by how good it makes them feel, and helps them to relieve stress! If you work in an office like a lot of people, your body may not expend enough energy for it to need sleep, and lack of sleep can cause a number of health issues. Even spending time doing half an hour to an hour of physical activity per day can greatly improve your quality of life.
Do you cook your own food or eat out on a regular basis? Even “healthy” options at a lot of restaurants and fast food places aren’t so healthy. If you start to cook your own food you will save money, gain a new important skill, and control what goes into your body! Eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats will help you gain energy because it does not take so much to digest, and it may even improve your physical composition!
Frequently Asked Questions
The best answer is none. However, if you do want one, keep it to a minimum. If you find you are having them every day, it’s time to make a plan to cut back.
If you’re concerned that they are having an adverse effect on your teeth or gums, we recommend you make an appointment and see what the doctor recommends.