Everyone knows that drinking sugary soda is bad for your teeth. But switching to energy drinks or sports drinks isn’t any better. In fact, according to a study in the journal General Dentistry, non-carbonated beverages can do more damage to your smile than anything on the market. Here are the details:   

Researchers at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine dropped human teeth in different sports and energy drinks for 15 minutes. Then, rinsed them in artificial saliva. And they repeated the cycle four times a day for a week.

The result: The acid in energy and sports drinks caused significant damage to the protective enamel covering the teeth. In fact, they’re almost as corrosive as the stomach acid that digests your food. The damage is also irreversible, and damaged enamel makes teeth more sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay. 

Of course, your best bet’s to give up sugary drinks altogether. But if you’re going to indulge, experts recommend chewing sugar-free gum afterwards to stimulate saliva production, or rinsing your mouth out with water to clear the sugar and acid away. And since acidic drinks soften your tooth enamel, brushing immediately afterward can actually damage your teeth. So, wait at least an hour after having a sugary drink before you brush.