How to Save Your Child's Teeth From Sugary Drinks
While most parents know that sugary drinks like soda and sports drinks aren’t healthy for their children, some don’t realize seemingly healthy choices like fruit juices and fruit smoothies can be unhealthy in their own ways, too.
These drinks both contain lots of sugar and acids like citric acid that can be quite harmful to teeth. Sugar feeds the bacteria in our mouths, and those bacteria produce acid as a byproduct. Both this acid and the acids found in naturally acidic beverages harm our dental health by breaking down tooth enamel, making our teeth more susceptible to decay and infection.
Although sugary and acidic drinks aren’t the best options for tooth health, you don’t have to avoid them altogether. Instead, follow these tips for healthier teeth.
5 Tips to Save Your Teeth From Sugary Drinks
1. Use a Straw
Drinking with a straw directs the beverage toward the back of your child’s mouth, reducing the overall exposure of their teeth to sugar and acids.
2. Don’t Sip
When teeth are exposed to sugar and acids, a 20-minute process of enamel breakdown and remineralization begins. This process restarts with every drink. The longer your child sips a sugary drink, the longer this process will ultimately last. Encourage your child to finish sweet drinks quickly and provide them with water between snacks and meals.
3. Enjoy with Cheese
Enzymes in cheese actually coat and protect the teeth from the acids that sugar creates. Serve your child a smoothie or juice with a few slices of cheese.
4. Rinse with Water
Once finished, have your child rinse their mouth with water. This will help remove any sugar residue and wash away acids clinging to the teeth.
5. Choose a Better Beverage
With so many sugar-free and neutral beverages to choose from, you can skip the sugar altogether. Instead, encourage your child to drink water. You can even sweeten it with sugar-free flavoring.
Although it also contains some natural sugar, milk is a good option, too, since it contains plenty of calcium that will help your child’s body build stronger teeth and bones. (Beware chocolate milk counts as a sugary beverage.)
Schedule Your Child's Next Dental Checkup with Our Kenmore Dentist
In addition to choosing healthier drinks and forming dental-friendly habits, you can protect your child’s smile with regular dental exams and cleanings. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stewart, contact Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry today.