Summer is a great time for all kinds of things, but mostly for kids to be out, running around, and playing. Keeping them hydrated throughout the day is super important, but you may want to think twice before reaching for their favorite sports drink.
While sports drinks may help replace fluids and electrolytes after exercise, studies have shown that they can really erode teeth. They can be even more harmful to your child’s teeth than soda! Along with a high sugar content, these brightly colored drinks are high in acidity, which greatly contributes to tooth erosion. The acids and sugars in sports drinks will begin to wear the enamel down, causing irreversible damage. Teeth with worn enamel will be more susceptible to cavities, staining, cracks and other forms of tooth degradation.
Energy drinks are about the same. Between 30 and 50 percent of teens drink a sports or energy drink each day, and up to 62 percent of children have one regularly. It is important to limit kids’ consumption of these beverages, especially while their teeth are still in early stages of development.
If your child insists on sports drinks, consider limiting them to one smaller bottle each day, and have them drink it in one sitting. Letting them sip it over a long period of time increases the amount of time the teeth are exposed to the acid. You can also consider watering the beverage down, or having them drink water after consuming the sports drink.
The best choice goes without saying: water. The benefits of drinking water over everything else are nearly limitless. Making sure your children stays hydrated while they’re out in the hot sun is critical to keeping them healthy. Just make sure you aren’t putting their dental health at risk when doing so. Happy summer, all!