soda on a pile of sugar with a straw in it

What drinks are harmful for children’s teeth?

 

It is not a secret, but Americans consume too much sugar on a daily basis. There was once a study done that showed that Americans per day consume around 22 grams of sugar! Did you know that the daily amount is half of that? This constant intake of high sugar foods and drinks is not good on teeth and gums. Sugar causes a considerable amount of damage to teeth and their enamel, which can then lead to oral issues like cavities. There are so many cool and fun drinks that are marketed to our children. Some of these drinks are surprisingly high in sugar! We wanted to help make you and other parents aware of what exactly we are giving our children, and how it can affect their developing teeth. Below we go into the best and worst drinks for your children’s teeth. 

Tooth Friendly Drinks

Water

Water is the drink of life, so of course, water is going to be the best option for keeping your teeth healthy! Water with fluoride helps to strengthen and clean teeth, and you do not even realize it is in your water! Every time you consume water, it enters your mouth and flushes away particles of food that may have been leftover from eating. It washed away acids, bacteria, and sugars that can be left on the teeth causing cavities. It also helps to restore the Ph balance in your children’s mouths. Water had zero calories, and it is the ideal drink for your children every day. 

Milk

Dairy products like milk contain high levels of calcium. Calcium is useful for strengthening teeth and bones in the body. There is also a protein within milk that many people may not realize is there. This protein is called casein, and it also strengthens tooth enamel. Casein helps to fight tooth decay, which is another good reason children should consume milk. Alongside calcium and casein, is phosphorous, it also repairs and strengthens tooth enamel. 

Low Sugar Vegetable Juice

Vegetable juice can either be very healthy or very bad for your children’s teeth. The vegetable part is great, and it’s the juice part to be cautious of. Very organic and low sugar vegetable juice can help to improve oral health. Veggies are some of the most healthy foods you could consume. However, if veggies are added with fruit to make juice, the sugar percentage could increase because fruits are high in sugar. If you want to make your children juice, juices that are dark green are better for teeth. Dark green juices include kale, spinach, and other leafy greens. Leafy greens tend to be high in B vitamins, and calcium. Both help to keep teeth nice and healthy. 

 

Harmful Drinks to Teeth

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are often chosen as an alternative to sugary sodas, but did you know that some juices have as much sugar as the leading colas? Apple juice has as much as ten tsp. of sugar per serving, which is the exact amount as the leading brand cola. The sugar and citric acids in fruit juice can lead to tooth decay. If you must drink juice, you can lower the sugar by cutting it with water. Alternatively, you can look for low sugar juice options as well.

Sports Drinks

Believe it or not, sports drinks can be unhealthy. They can either contain a high amount of sugar or salt! Certain ones can eat away at your child’s tooth enamel, so it is recommended that children drink water instead. You wouldn’t want to give your child a coke or Pepsi during a sporting game, so be careful what sports drinks your children consume. One sport drinks every once in a while is not bad!

Colas

As we mentioned in the sports drink section, you would not give your kids a coke or Pepsi during a game. Well, you should be cautious about what happens to teeth every time colas are consumed. Soda is exceptionally high in acid and sugars, which are both terrible for teeth. Both eat away at enamel and can easily help lead to cavities. Some brands of soda contain a human’s daily sugar intake in one 20 oz container. On average, dentists recommend that soda should be avoided altogether. Large amounts of soda consumption can lead to diabetes and other diseases. 

 

How to Help Reduce Negative Effects

In order to reduce the negative effects of harmful drinks, we think that high sugar drinks should be avoided entirely. If not, that is ok! We recommend that your children should at least swish their mouths with water after drinking those drinks. They should also brush and floss twice a day to maintain good oral health. 

Visit Our Office

We hope you found our blog beneficial! Certain drinks can be very damaging to teeth, and we want everyone to take good care of their pearly whites. If you are worried that your child is drinking too much high sugar drinks, or if they are beginning to complain of sensitive teeth, then please call our pediatric dentist office. The sensitivity may be related to consuming too many sugary drinks. We will evaluate your child’s smile and determine a treatment plan that’s best during an appointment. If you are ready to make an appointment, you can do so on our Kid’s Healthy Teeth website.

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