It’s important to screen the foods your children eat, but perhaps even more important is watching what liquids they drink. Drinks often seem harmless, since it doesn’t seem likely that such a thin substance could have so many calories and sugar. However, the beverages kids consume may have an impact on the health of their teeth for a lifetime. Consider these dos and don’ts for kids’ beverages the next time you fill up their glasses.
Do Drink Water
Water will protect your kids’ teeth in more ways than one. First of all, it has no negative health impacts. Tap water is also reinforced with the mineral fluoride, which will strengthen tooth enamel. It’s also great for washing away food particles after a meal or snack so that they don’t leave bacteria and decay in your child’s mouth.
Don’t Drink Artificial Fruit Drinks
Artificially flavored fruit drinks are very deceiving. You might see fruit on the label and think that it’s healthy, when in fact, it’s full of sugar and artificial flavoring that will damage teeth. The sugar in these drinks will sit on teeth and gums and begin decaying your child’s enamel.
Do Drink Milk
Most children do not get the proper amounts of phosphorus and calcium needed to fortify teeth in their daily diet. Milk offers those essential minerals for the teeth and is the safest form of drink between meals except for water. It provides a protective film on kids’ teeth that helps to counteract the effects of acidic and sugary foods. It’s a good thing kids love milk, because they will need plenty of servings of this healthy beverage for strong teeth.
Don’t Drink Soft Drinks
Soft drinks are perhaps the worst drink you can give to a child. Soda is both sugary and acidic, which is tooth enamel’s worst nightmare. If your child has an occasional drink of soda, make sure they brush their teeth soon after or counteract the effects with a glass of milk.
Do Drink Natural Fruit Juices in Moderation
Fruit juices with more than 50 percent real fruit juice are generally a safe choice for teeth. The more real fruit juice, the more natural sugar, which is much better than processed sugar on teeth. However, this delicious drink should be consumed in moderation. The sugar and acid content of fruit drinks is hard on kids’ enamel. It’s a better option than others, but if you have milk or water handy, choose one of those instead.
Despite your best efforts at protecting your kids’ teeth from decay, cavities can, and probably will, occur. You can do your best to protect your kids’ teeth by instilling good dental hygiene habits in your kids and taking them to the dentist for semi-annual cleanings. For those cleanings and any cavity repair, give our office a call.