Tooth decay isn’t a sports injury the way a sprained ankle is, but for young athletes hoping a drink can improve performance and energy levels, it can be an unfortunate side effect. The beverages’ high acidity levels can cause irreversible damage to teeth, eroding enamel and making them prone to decay. And that damage can be evident after only 5 days of exposure. Many people assume sports drinks are “better” than soda or fruit juice. In fact, 62% of U.S. teens drink at least one sports drink a day. If you can’t convince your kid to give up these drinks entirely, have your child rinse his or her mouth out with water or chew sugar-free gum after drinking. Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return acidity levels in the mouth to normal.