Energy drinks can help people get through their day a little easier with an energy boost, but they can come with a few unwanted side effects. I have to admit that I enjoyed a Red Bull the odd time, but as a dental hygienist, I try to avoid drinks that could affect my oral health, but can Red Bull stain teeth?
Red Bull and other energy drinks can stain teeth due to low acidic pH. Acid demineralizes tooth structure and makes the tooth susceptible to absorbing pigments from food and drink, leading to stains. Prolonged exposure can cause enamel erosion, making the yellow dentin more visible.
I don’t believe in cutting out all drinks and food that could potentially affect the teeth. Still, it is essential to understand the risks and take the initiative to reduce consumption and neutralize the mouth’s pH level after consuming them.
In this post, I explain in more detail how these drinks can stain teeth and the advice I give to my patients about preventing tooth stains from Red Bull and other energy drinks.
How does Red Bull stain teeth?
Red Bull is highly acidic. I tested the pH level, and the video below shows the results in more detail.
The pH level was around 4.5.
The tooth structure has a critical threshold of a pH of 5.5. Anything below 5.5 pH, the tooth structure will start to demineralize, breaking down the tooth and making the tooth softer.
When the tooth is in this state for an extended period of time, the demineralization will continue, and the cavity will start to form.
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Where the cavity is forming, it can start to become darker, making the teeth appear more stained.
As well, sometimes a cavity wont begin, but the teeth can become eroded.
When the tooth is exposed to acidic drinks, erosion can occur. As the tooth structure can be lost evenly, eventually decreasing the enamel’s width allows the yellow dentin layer to show through more.
Dentin is yellow in colour, and when the enamel is thin, it gives the teeth a more yellow appearance.
I have had so many patients of all ages ask me about yellowing teeth, and it is most often from thin enamel, and the yellow dentin is shining through, making the teeth appear more yellow and dark.
To go back to the pH levels, when the pH is below 5.5, the tooth becomes more soft, and not as resiliant to pigment.
In the softened state, the tooth can absorb pigment from other sources and become discoloured and stained.
This is why Red Bull has the potential to cause teeth stains. It softens the tooth structure, making it like a dry sponge that will soak up the pigment of anything that comes into contact with the tooth surface.
A rule of thumb for teeth staining; if it will stain a white shirt, it will stain your teeth.
In order to make a huge difference, these food and drink items would have to be consumed for long periods, frequently.
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Neutralizing the pH will decrease the risk of enamel erosion, tooth decay, and tooth stains. So if you are worried about Red Bull staining your teeth, down it.
Neutralizing the pH in the mouth can also be done by chewing xylitol gum, or having xylitol mints.
The xylitol will stimulate the salivary glands to make more saliva to help rinse away the acid, bring the pH of the mouth back to a safe pH level.
Xylitol cannot be consumed by the acid-producing bacteria in th emouth, so essentially you starve them out, reducing the amount of acid being created, which can help to prevent cavities, acid erosion and even bad breath!
What caffeine drink does not stain teeth?
Caffeininated drinks such as tea, coffee, soda, energy drinks all have the ability to stain teeth.
All teas have the ability to stain teeth, but some have less staining properties than other teas. Tannins are the main cause of teeth stains. White teas and lighter teas will stain teeth less, as well as other caffeininated beverages such as yerba mate,
However, it’s not just the tannins that affect stain accumulation. The longer you sip your tea, the more exposure your teeth get to the tea, increasing the stain.
I say to my patients (because I will never tell them to quit tea or coffee because we all need small pleasure sin life), to drink it quickly and rinse with water after drinking.
RInsing with water after drinking will help to rinse away most of the pigment and acid, to reduce stain and acid erosion.
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You can also try to drink through straws. This prevent the liquid from coming into contact with the teeth, preventing stain accumulation.
Can I drink Red Bull after getting my teeth whitened?
It is best to avoid Red Bull and all drinks that have pigment, or are acidic for at least two days after have teeth whitened. The tooth structure during teeth whitening is dehydrated and can take up to 48 hours to rehydrate and reduce the chance of pigment absorption in the tooth which could decrease the whitening results.
If you cannot avoid drinking one, please drink it with a straw, drink it quickly, and rinse your mouth out with water after!
It is not wise to brush you teeth right after drinking am energy drink becuase it will soften the toothstructure and toothbrushing can brush away precious tooth structure, leading to thinned enamel, root wear, and can lead to tooth discolouration (dentin showing more) and tooth sensitivity!
Red Bulls can be a nice treat to have once in awhile, but drinking them regularly can have irreversible effects on the teeth!
I hope you have found this information useful!