There is actually quite a difference between an “energy” drink and a “sports” drink but they do have at least one thing in common, they can both harm your child’s teeth. Sports drinks are formulated to replace the water and minerals that are lost through vigorous exercise. The risk, however, is in the sugar content of these drinks which contribute significantly to childhood obesity and tooth decay. There’s a better way to stay hydrated – drink more water!
Energy drinks are another story. They are meant to increase physical endurance and improve your child’s ability to excel in competitive sports events. The way the makers do this, however, is by adding stimulants such as caffeine to the product. Caffeine is highly acidic making energy drinks a threat to the strength of your child’s tooth enamel. When the enamel deteriorates the teeth become more susceptible to decay.
Don’t assume that sports and energy drinks are better for your child’s dental health than soda. Test results have proven that not to be true, all three can put your child at risk for the invasion of tooth decay. Fluoridated tap water is best but a cooler full of bottled water is so much better than a sugary or acidic beverage. Some bottles do include a certain amount of fluoride, don’t forget to check the label for content.
Another alternative that our Dr. James Park, dentist in La Habra, always is telling us about is tea. Healthier teas like Oolong, green or black tea have a ton of health benefits so long as you don’t load the drink with a bunch of sugar. The problem here is that most kids don’t love drinking tea, but if they really want an alternative other than water or sugary drinks, tea is a viable option.
Fluoride is an important cavity fighter. When it infiltrates the surface of your child’s tooth where the beginnings of a cavity may be festering it can actually remineralize the enamel to repair any damage that has been done and prevent the decay from advancing. Children who are at higher risk may benefit from an in-office fluoride treatment. Your pediatric dentist may advise that your child begin using a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash as well, as part of a daily home care routine.
Talk to your pediatric dentist about what precautions to take to ensure that your child doesn’t become cavity prone. Dr. Patterson of Epic Dentistry for Kids believes strongly in the significance of preventive dentistry for his patients. Call the office today @ 720-721-3600 in Aurora, CO.