Dental experts placed teeth in sports drinks and in water to compare the effects, and they found the sports drinks caused corrosion that could result in severe tooth damage if left untreated.
The researchers cut calves' teeth in half and immersed each half in either a sports drink or water. They compared the results after 75 to 90 minutes. The erosion on the half placed in the sports drink was clearly visible -- dozens of tiny holes appeared. There was no damage on the half that was immersed in water.
Brushing teeth immediately after the drinks would actually compound the problem, because the citric acid in the drink softens tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to abrasive brushing.