Don't Let Sports Drinks Harm Your Child's Oral Health

Posted on: 30 November 2015

If you have a child that participates in physical activities like football or even gymnastics, you have probably at least considered the idea of giving your child a sports drink. These tasty drinks are designed to help replenish any carbohydrates, fluids, electrolytes and other nutritional elements that are lost during periods of intense physical activity. On the surface, these drinks seem like a healthy and great choice. However, when it comes to your child's oral health, sports drinks can be harmful.

The Hard Facts

Compared to sports drinks, as strange as it sounds, you might be surprised to discover that a healthier option for your child's oral needs might actually be a glass of soda. One study revealed that the high levels of acid naturally found in sports drinks posed a greater risk for root and enamel deterioration to teeth than energy drinks, apple juice and even soda. Root and enamel erosion is especially dangerous for your child because the damage is often irreversible.

A Smarter Choice

When it comes to keeping your child healthy during periods of intense or vigorous activity, don't overlook the benefit of water. Although it doesn't come in fancy colors or vibrant packaging, a glass of water is going to be your best bet for your child's oral and overall health. Water is naturally replenishing and comes without the risk of damaging your child's teeth.

Keep Your Eyes Open For Damage

Although root and enamel damage is often difficult to reverse, it can be slowed down or halted. However, this is only the case if the damage is addressed early. As a parent, you can accomplish this by keeping your eyes open for signs of erosion.

A common telltale sign of erosion is tooth sensitivity. As the enamel starts to wear away, certain foods can cause discomfort. This discomfort can range from a quick twinge to jolting pain. Discoloration is also a warning sign. As the enamel on the tooth gets damaged, more of the dentin layer becomes visible, which can cause a tooth to look darker or yellow. If your child is frequently complaining of pain or you start to notice signs of discoloration, it's time to schedule a visit to the dentist.

You don't have to completely eliminate sports drinks, but minimizing the frequency at which your child consumes them is best. If your child has regularly consumed these drinks in the past, it might be a good idea to have a pediatric dentist look over your child's teeth to ensure there aren't any issues.