Your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands talks a lot about the importance of limiting the number of sugary snacks your child eats in order to lower the chances of them getting cavities. But did you know that there are also some sneaky drinks that should be avoided or enjoyed in moderation because they can cause tooth damage? The truth is, what kids drink as well as what they eat can play a big role in their oral health.
Even though you’re probably not surprised to find soda at the top of this list, it’s still absolutely worth mentioning. Soda is one of the most sugary drinks available, which can make it particularly bad for teeth. But soda is also acidic, and sugar and acid are a bad combination for tiny teeth. This dangerous duo of ingredients can weaken tooth enamel, making decay more likely.
Some juice may be ok in moderation, especially when you’re searching for a way to make sure your family is getting all their vitamins. However, not all juice is equal in nutritional value, and some have a ton of added sugars. Read the labels and select a juice that’s 100% fruit juice and doesn’t have any added sugars.
Just like juices and soda, lemonade packs the punch of having too much sugar as well as acids. Again, these two ingredients can eat away tooth enamel and increase the risk of cavities. But that’s not all. Beverages that are sour and acidic can also contribute to tooth sensitivity which can be uncomfortable and a bit painful.
Your child may want to turn to sports drinks, especially during the hotter summer months. While these beverages can replenish nutrients and minerals that are lost through sweating, they are also both sugary and acidic. Your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands will usually suggest drinking sports drinks only when needed or even diluting them down with water.
Protecting Teeth Against Cavities
We understand that everyone enjoys a nice cold beverage of their choice, and we’re not here to tell you that your family needs to avoid these drinks all the time. We do, however, recommend enjoying them in moderation and following these tips to reduce the impact sugar and acids can have on teeth:
- Rinse with water after drinking a sugary or acidic drink
- Don’t brush for 20-30 minutes after drinking an acidic drink
- Don’t sip a beverage for a long time
- Only put water in sippy cups or bottles
When in doubt, your little one should drink primarily water throughout the day. Water will help wash away plaque bacteria and can neutralize acids.
Monitoring your child’s intake of sugary snacks and drinks can help keep teeth healthy. Still, it’s always important that they brush their teeth every morning and night, floss at least once a day, and see their pediatric dentist in The Woodlands twice a year.