School is out for summer, and parents all around the country are making plans for their children’s summer activities. There may not be a more fun time of year for your children. From day camps, to sports, to visits to swimming holes and water parks, your children are certain to be thirsty with all that energy they’re expending! Here are some healthy drink choices that will keep your child hydrated without being too hard on their teeth:
Good, Old-Fashioned Water
Drinking plenty of water is beneficial to children’s teeth in three ways. For starters, it’s a healthier alternative to sugary juices and sodas. Juices and soda drinks are acidic and are known to erode enamel and cause cavities. Water alone has no potential of eroding your teeth.
Second, drinking water naturally rinses away plaque and food between meals and snacks.
And last but not least, tap water has fluoride in it. So, it helps remineralize tooth enamel with natural minerals to combat cavities.
What About Fruit Juices?
Fruit is a natural sugar source. A modest serving every now and then is fine. Certain fruits include vitamins and minerals that your youngster needs to be healthy. However, when your child consumes fruit in liquid form, they are exposed to a high quantity of sugar without all of the beneficial fiber.
That sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria, which causes tooth structure to decay. Acids found in fruit juice exacerbate the problem by softening and eroding tooth enamel. To avoid these effects, encourage your child to finish their juice in one sitting and urge them to rinse with water immediately afterward.
And, remember, liquids are the most dangerous form of sugar and acid as it can go between the teeth and into crevices much easier than foods.
Be Careful with Sports Drinks
If your child participates in a summer soccer or baseball league, you’re likely to see a lot of sports beverages on the team bench. Water is really what your child needs to be hydrated in most cases. However, we all know how our kids love sports and energy drinks when they’re playing sports with their friends. Sports drinks can promote quick tooth decay when a mouth is dry from running around and sweating in the sun.
It may be best to select a fun, personalized bottle and fill it with fluoridated tap water. Maybe even use the sugar free drink flavor packets to make the water rich in flavor and electrolytes.
And, if you can’t get away from sports drinks, maybe search for the sugar free variants to make the fun a little safer on your child’s little teeth.
If it’s time for your child’s checkup or you have a concern about their teeth, call Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan today!