Ensuring your children are both healthy and happy can be difficult at times. From providing well-balanced meals and quality education to ensuring they are safe and healthy, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of being a parent. Unfortunately, you may be giving your child food and drinks that are actually causing more harm than good. Energy drinks and sports beverages may seem like smart beverages to keep your child hydrated while playing outside or when competing in sports, but these drinks will wreak havoc on your child's health.
You may think these drinks are providing your child with much-needed energy, but they are increasing their risk of obesity while affecting the health of their mouth, teeth, and gums. Using this guide, you will understand the dental dangers of energy and sports drinks.
Effects on Oral Health
First and foremost, you may not believe how the caffeine in these drinks affect your child's oral health. While surprising to learn, one can of some brands of energy drinks will contain an estimated 500 mg of caffeine. This amount is equivalent to the caffeine found in 14 cans of soda.
Caffeine will increase your child's heart rate, which can result in long-term cardiovascular issues, but it will also decrease their mouth's production of saliva. Without a sufficient amount of saliva, the mouth will become dry and hot, making it an appealing environment for bacteria growth.
Over time, the presence of bacteria will lead to cavities, tooth infections, decay, and gum disease. These issues can affect children of all ages if they are consuming large amounts of energy or sports drinks.
If your child is drinking energy and sports drinks daily, they may also be consuming an excess amount of sugar. This sugar will build up on your child's teeth and gums, eroding enamel. Without this protective coating, the teeth will be at risk of stains, cavities, and decay that can spread across the gums resulting in periodontal disease.
Preventing Dental Issues
Your best option for preventing any of the above dental issues is to stop allowing your child to consume energy and sports drinks.
If your child participates in sports where coaches and other parents service sports drinks, discuss the dangers of drinking to many of these beverages with your child.
Allow your child to carry their own water bottle, which will allow them to drink water instead of the sports drinks. They can also take drinks of water in between sips of the sports drinks. This will help rinse the sugar and caffeine away from the teeth and gum tissue.
Your child should never hold energy or sports drinks in their mouth, since allowing the sugary drinks to remain in the mouth for an extended period will increase the risk of cavities and decay.
You must also teach your child the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Proper brushing will remove any sugar and caffeine from the mouth, which will reduce the risk of cavities and other dental issues.
A fluoride treatment may also be beneficial for your child if they are consuming these beverages. Your dentist can apply a fluoride treatment to the surface of the teeth. The fluoride will restore any enamel that has begun eroding while strengthening the teeth to prevent further damage and other dental complications. Fluoride treatments are also effective for reversing cavities that have already begun to develop.
Consuming energy and sports drinks may be the thing that children do, but these popular beverages can do enormous damage to your child's mouth, teeth, and gums. To learn more about these drinks, consult a local dental clinic for kids.