People may be able to reduce their risk of needing emergency private dentistry by avoiding sports drinks and not brushing their teeth immediately after drinking them, it has been claimed.
Research at New York University found that sports drinks expose people to high levels of acid which can erode the tooth enamel and make the teeth more sensitive.
Around one in 15 people are thought to suffer from erosive tooth wear, which is caused by acids eating away at the enamel and entering the bonelike structure underneath, leaving the tooth in a weakened state.
The researchers showed that cows' teeth that were immersed in a sports drink for 75 to 90 minutes were eroded to a far greater extent than teeth which were left in water.
Lead researcher Dr Mark Wolff, professor and chairman of the university's department of cariology and comprehensive care, commented: "This is the first time that the citric acid in sports drinks has been linked to erosive tooth wear.
"To prevent tooth erosion, consume sports drinks in moderation and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow softened enamel to re-harden."
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Miami.
A recent poll by private dental insurance provider Simplyhealth found that 35 per cent of people have had difficulty finding an NHS dentist, highlighting the importance of looking after your teeth