While sports and energy drinks often advertise that they provide nutritional benefits and can improve your athletic performance, these drinks can have devastating consequences for oral health. Hygienists should be aware of the effects and educate their patients about the destruction of tooth surfaces and promote healthy behaviors.
Sports and energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and carbs combined with a low pH they have the potential to cause dental caries (cavities) as well as raise the risk of weight gain due to high caloric content. The hygienist can ask the question if these drinks are being used as part of the patients diet then educate on the side effects and made aware of alternative choices.
Best advice hygienists and dental staff can offer is to refrain from consuming these drinks. Plain water is the best re-hydrator in people who exercise. Good rule of thumb is to consume 1 to 2 cups of water for every 15 minutes of activity.