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Energy Drinks: Bad for the Teeth?

Study Finds Energy, Sports Drinks Damage Tooth Enamel; Industry Says Study Not 'Real World'

Industry Response Continued continued...

"Furthermore, it is irresponsible to blame foods, beverages, or any other single factor for enamel loss and tooth decay."

Susceptibility to dental problems depends on personal hygiene, lifestyle, total diet, and genetic makeup, according to the ABA.

ABA member companies agree not to offer energy drinks for sale in grades K through 12, and to offer calorie-capped sports drinks in containers of 12 ounces or less only to high schools.

Spokespeople from Gatorade and Powerade referred WebMD requests for comments on the study to the American Beverage Association.

Elaine Lutz, a spokesperson for 5-hour Energy, also released a statement in response to the study: "This report is wholly irrelevant to 5-hour Energy because our product is an energy shot, not an energy drink."

The volume in the product, she says, is eight times less than what is found in other energy drinks. For that reason and others, she says, the results would not apply. The product is marketed only to adults, she says.

Advice for Sports, Energy Drink Fans

Even one drink a day is potentially harmful, Jain says.

"If the consumer is absolutely unable to give them up, the best advice is to minimize [their use] and rinse with water afterwards," she says.

"Dilute them," she says. Do not brush immediately after drinking them, she says, as this could spread around the acid. "The mouth takes about 30 minutes to bring the pH back to normal."

Wait an hour after drinking the sports or energy drink, to be safe, then brush, Jain says.

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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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