This summer, think twice before taking a sip of your coffee, or that refreshingly cold caramel Frappuccino. Certain drinks can damage and stain your teeth. Knowing the damaging affects of sports drinks, energy drinks, coffees and Frappuccinos can help you take the next step toward a stunning smile. We have all chosen our favorite sports drink or Frappuccino on a hot summer day, but have you ever thought of how the sugars in these drinks can damage your once alluring smile?

Sports and Energy Drinks

Sometimes we all need that extra boost of energy or caffeine to help get us through the day. However, have you ever realized the damaging effects these drinks may have on the appearance and health of your smile? A common misconception is often that energy drinks and sports drinks are healthier than soda for your oral health. This is not the case. Energy and sports drinks contain sugars that can potentially erode or thin out the enamel of your teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.

These drinks are especially popular among teens and young adults, with up to half of U.S. teens and young adults drinking energy drinks, and more than half consume at least one sports drink a day. A British dentist analyzed the acidity of eight sports drinks after treating a 23-year old runner with severely eroded front teeth who quenched his thirst with sports drinks. When examined, the eight drinks all fell below the “safe” level of pH.

The next time you reach for that energy drink or sports drink, think twice about the need for it. If you decide to continue to drink it, follow these precautions:

* Use sports and energy drinks in moderation

* Also use fruit juices or soft drinks in moderation as they can erode teeth as well

* Dilute sports drinks with water

* Drink when cold-warm temperatures speed erosion.

* Use a straw if possible to reduce contact between the drink and your teeth

* Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming a sports drink-this makes teeth softer and brushing can cause protective enamel loss.

Rather than choosing sports and energy drinks, you should consider water as the logical thirst quencher.

Is Coffee in the Morning Really Necessary?

Coffee and tea are especially tough on your teeth, because tannic acid (the reason why your coffee is so dark) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel and can stain teeth brown. Consumption of coffee and caffeine typically increases your mental alertness and energy level, but the downside is that it poses a number of negative effects on the appearance and health of your teeth. Knowing the harm that caffeine can have on your teeth may be just what you need to put an end to your coffee and caffeine consumption.

Stains from coffee and other sources of caffeine are yellowish marks that appear on your teeth. Dark-colored beverages such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea and colas leave behind these yellowish marks. When these drinks stain your teeth, toothpaste and professional cleanings won’t do the trick to remove their unsightly color. These stains can only then be removed with a tooth whitening procedure-whether at home or in your dentist’s office. Tooth whitening procedures involve soaking your teeth in a gel made of peroxide for some time, which essentially bleaches your teeth to remove the stains.

The next time you go to order a coffee or Frappuccino, or even grab a sports or energy drink from the local convenience store, think twice. Talk to your Los Angeles dentist for more information on how various drinks you may daily consume could be the cause of your stained teeth.