There are so many beverages to choose from, and so many of our patients ask us what is OK to drink.
Being in one of the most active and athletic states in the country, many of us rely on sport drinks to help us get through our marathons, century road bike rides, or 14er hikes. Most of these sport drinks are actually really bad for our teeth. I have seen patients who eat very well and are very health conscious, but then rampant cavities in between their teeth (which we can only detect using x-rays, but that is another topic).
Besides sugar, pH is also a very large factor in how these beverages break down tooth enamel. Keep in mind that enamel starts to break down at a pH lower than 5.5, and most sports drinks average a pH of somewhere around 3.
So water is always better (tap water has a pH of around 6.6), but if you have to use your sports drinks on those long rides, try to swish with water after each sip to help get things a little more neutral.