As a parent, you spend a good deal of time thinking about your child’s diet and how it affects them. Making sure your kids get the right nutrients and vitamins is vital to their development into healthy adolescents. In that vein, many parents often steer their children away from soda because of the high acidity and sugar content. However, not all of the alternatives to soda are actually that healthy for children. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of a few different beverages and their effect on dental health.
When we talk about soda, we often think of diet soda as a healthy alternative. Diet soda usually has less sugar and fewer calories. However, when it comes to discussing soda’s impact on your child’s teeth, soda and diet soda are both dangerous. Regular soda has two problems: sugar and acidity. The sugar in regular soda can cause cavities and dental erosion. But even diet soda still contains a high level of acidity which causes enamel erosion.
There are many different sports drinks that are advertised directly to kids and teens for gym class and after school sports. However, recent studies have shown that because of the added citric acid that is often found in these sports drinks, they also risk destroying enamel. Similarly, energy drinks combine the sugar and acidity of soda with citric acid and can cause more damage than regular soda.
Often the most advertised drink for kids instead of soda is fruit juices. Many different companies tell parents to consider their juice as the healthy alternative to drinking soda. However, many fruit juices have just as much, if not more, sugar than sodas. Fruit juices also are very acidic similar to sodas. Even orange juice has a high citric acid level. That is why it is important for kids to drink any acidic beverages in moderation and to brush their teeth after.
Instead of drinking soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, or fruit juices, many dentists encourage parents to have their kids drink water and milk. Water is important for washing foods out of the mouth and staying hydrated. And milk can help build stronger teeth. Strawberry and chocolate-flavored milk can help kids get into the habit of drinking milk and contain less sugar than sodas and juices. Parents should always check the nutrition facts on any food or beverage they give their kids.
Our dentists in Revere would be happy to answer your questions about your children’s dental health. Use our online contact form to set up a dental examination or contact us online to discuss an appointment.