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kids and energy drinks

Energy Drinks And Your Teeth

kids and energy drinks      Think energy drinks just give you energy? How about permanent damage to your teeth? That’s right-energy drinks not only have very high levels of caffeine (many at very dangerous levels), but they also are loaded with citric acid. In its natural form from oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits, citric acid adds a great dose of Vitamin C to the body and helps with detoxification. As an isolated chemical, this is not the case. When citric acid is isolated, it acts as an acid, breaking down the enamel of the teeth. Enamel is the protective coating teeth have to prevent the inner tooth structure from breakdown. Once your enamel is gone, you can’t get it back. Teeth are at much greater risk of getting cavities as this breakdown occurs.  A study that was published in May 2012 in General Dentistry, placed molars into various energy drinks for 15 minutes, followed by 2 hours of salvia, 4 times a day. This is to show typical exposure in the mouth. It found that tooth enamel was removed significantly, after just 5 days. For more on this study, click here.

How much citric acid is in energy drinks? The brands don’t have to label this by law, just as they don’t have to label how much caffeine is in their products. The American Beverage Association, in defense of such drinks, stated that drinks cannot be blamed for such damage. However, research has proven otherwise. Consuming large amounts of citric acid has been linked to bone loss and kidney stones. In addition, the high levels of caffeine are dangerous to the body. Caffeine is a stimulant, and in large levels can actually cause the heart to beat too rapidly. In severe cases, there have been reported cases of death. Because of the lack of research conducted on young children and the impact such drinks can have on developing bodies, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly warns against consumption of such drinks. Below are some levels of caffeine found in various drinks (Consumer Reports Rankings). “Monster” was the drink that was linked to several cases of death, and cites 92 mg of caffeine. There are many others that have upwards of 242 mg of caffeine (5 hour energy shot).

8 oz typical coffee 100 mg

16 oz. Starbucks Grande 330 mg

5 hour Energy 215 mg

Monster X-presson 221 mg

Rockstar Energy 229 mg

Energy drinks: risks to your teeth

The problem with these drinks, is that they’re often small in size, so kids drink them more often. We advise you drink water and remain hydrated with energizing foods right in nutrition like fresh vegetables and fruits. These foods contain mostly water, and provide a boost to the body, while providing high levels of vitamins and minerals. For more on what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for kids and energy drinks, click here.  We also recommend you also regular cleanings at our office, Altman Dental in Amherst, NY, every 6 months, to prevent tooth decay and maintain gum health.