It’s a well-known fact that your pediatric dentist in Tucson encourages kids to enjoy sweet treats and sugary snacks in moderation to help reduce the risk of cavities. However, there are also some drinks that should be avoided or limited. In fact, what kids drink plays a big role in their dental health, especially when beverages in bottles or sippy cups can be consumed throughout the day. Let’s take a look at some of the worst drinks for kids’ teeth.
Perhaps the most obvious drink that’s bad for teeth is any type of soda or pop. It’s also one of the worst options and is the cause behind a lot of cavities. Soda is packed with sugar as well as acids — a dangerous combination for teeth. Acidic beverages such as soda can easily weaken tooth enamel and make it easier for cavities to develop. Plus, the sugar feeds mouth bacteria which, in turn, produces more acid.
When looking for a vitamin-rich fruit juice for your family, make sure you choose one that’s 100% fruit juice and doesn’t have any added sugars. Juice that isn’t 100% juice and has additional sugar mixed in can be damaging to teeth.
Similar to fruit juice and soda, lemonade is also sugary and acidic and can destroy tooth enamel and increase the risk of cavities. Additionally, acidic beverages can cause tooth sensitivity due to the enamel layer wearing thin.
Sports drinks can be great for rehydrating the body after playing sports or running around outside in the heat of summer. But again, these beverages are loaded with the damaging duo of sugar and acid. Your pediatric dentist in Tucson recommends drinking sports drinks only when necessary.
How to Protect Teeth
Now, just because sugary and acidic drinks can damage teeth, it doesn’t mean your family needs to avoid them altogether. But there are some tips you should follow to reduce the risk of decay.
- Rinse your kid’s mouth out with water after drinking a sugary drink
- Wait 20-30 minutes after drinking an acidic drink to brush your teeth
- Make sure your child is drinking the beverage in one sitting and not sipping it over time
- Fill sippy cups and bottles with water only
When it comes to choosing the best beverage for teeth, you can’t go wrong with water. Water helps neutralize acid, washes away bacteria, and keeps mouths hydrated. Milk can also be a smart choice as it contains calcium and phosphorus. These two minerals help build and keep teeth strong. However, don’t send your kid to bed with a bottle of milk, as drinking it over a long period of time essentially bathes teeth in milk and can cause damage.
Limiting the amount of sugary or acidic drinks your child has can help keep his teeth healthy. Of course, it’s still important that he brushes his teeth well every morning and night, floss in between each tooth daily, and sees his pediatric dentist in Tucson at least every six months.