At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to provide a full range of services to keep your child’s teeth healthy. From basic cleanings up to kidsdental X-rays and much more, we’ll help with all the preventive care areas that keep the teeth in great shape before any major issues can come up.
One product that’s becoming more and more common on the market, and that’s damaging the efforts of dentists like ours around the country, is various sports and energy drinks. These beverages have seen a huge rise in consumption across all age groups in recent years, but particularly among children and young adults. Let’s look at the harm these drinks can do to the teeth, plus how to limit these effects.
Unfortunately, a lot of that rise in consumption we just mentioned is due to major misconceptions about what these drinks do. The manufacturers of these beverages have done a great job marketing them as healthier alternatives to things like soda and other carbonated drinks – while this may be true in certain areas, they’re absolutely not any better for the teeth, and may in fact be worse.
Well over half of all US teens have at least one sports or energy drink every day – 62 percent, to be precise. These teens and children see a marked rise in dental visits due to symptoms we’ll discuss in our next section.
Acidity and Enamel
There are a couple issues with these drinks and the teeth, including the simple harm that all that sugar can do, but the primary issue at hand here is acidity levels. Sports and energy drinks have extremely high levels of acid in them, and when this acid contacts the teeth, it begins to slowly erode tooth enamel that’s meant to protect the root of the tooth. This can lead to several issues:
- Major sensitivity in teeth
- Higher likelihood of decay forming in teeth
- Possibility of permanent damage to tooth enamel
The ideal way to minimize the impact of this acid and other sugars in these drinks is to simply help your child lower their consumption of the drinks themselves. For children who are independent and have some control over their diet, though, this can be difficult.
In these cases, at least do your best to make an impact – tell your kids about the dangers of these drinks and the discomfort and hassle they could lead to down the line. Require them to rinse their mouths with water after drinking a sports drink, as this can wash away some of the acid and stop it from eating tooth enamel. Sugarless gum also serves a similar purpose here.
For more on the dangers of sports and energy drinks for child tooth health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.