Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Summer is here, which means sports, being outdoors, and of course, lots of sweating. One thing kids love on hot summer afternoons is to cool off with a sweet but cold refreshment – who blames them? While water is the preferred beverage to rehydrate, we know that kids, and adults alike, often prefer something with more flavor, and by flavor, we mean sugary. Does this mean that fruit juice, sports drinks, and other sugar-laden refreshments are the best choice? Not according to your family dentists in Nashville.
Sugars and Acids
Two things that can wreck your teeth quicker than anything are sugars and acids, which ironically is what is found in beverages that kids often prefer. Even beverages that are sugar-free and low calorie still pack a good bit of acids that erode dental enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay.
The problem with acidic drinks
Let’s break it down a little. Acid levels are measured on a pH scale from 1-14, the lower the number, the more acidic the beverage and a more significant danger to your teeth. Water is neutral at 6.5-8.5 on the pH scale, and milk is about 7, but most people don’t want milk on a hot summer day. Sodas typically have a pH of about 2.5-3.5, which is what makes it a bad choice when it comes to you or your child’s oral health. Even sugar-free seltzer water infused with fruit flavors ranks on the pH scale between 3-4. So, what should you offer your kids when they need to rehydrate and prefer something other than plain old water?
How to enjoy delicious beverages without wrecking your teeth
Well here’s the thing, we know what kids like to drink, and to be truthful, most adults probably have similar preferences when it comes to cooling down on a hot summer day. We aren’t saying that sports drinks or fruit juices are entirely that bad, but consume them in moderation.
Here are some other tips to protect your child’s teeth this summer:
- Dilute your child’s beverage to lower the sugar and acid content.
- Use a straw for drinking so that it minimizes the contact with their teeth.
- Rinse their mouth out with water after they consume juice, soda, or a sports drink.
- Encourage water for sipping on throughout the day, and avoid allowing your child unlimited access to sugary/acidic beverages.
It’s summer, so enjoy the outdoors and don’t take it all too seriously. At Devine Dentistry, we understand the draw to sugar and realize it is unrealistic for most people to ward off sugar entirely. Your family dentists in Nashville recommend that you limit your child’s sugar intake, encourage good oral hygiene habits, and follow the protocol above to help minimize your child’s risk of developing tooth decay.
Dental visits are essential for everyone of all ages, which is why we encourage you to make sure that you and your child receive dental check-ups and cleanings twice a year. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your child’s oral health or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209.
Devine Dentistry is proud to offer comprehensive, comfortable dental care for our patients in Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, TN.