When it comes to beverages, most kids (if not all) are unlikely to choose water. Most would probably prefer flavored drinks such as fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks. The sad part is, substituting sugary and acidic beverages for water can cause long-term harm to your child’s teeth and overall health.
Sugar in soda, for instance, fuels the bacteria in the mouth to create acid. This attacks and damages the teeth. It is important to note that each acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes and starts all over again with every sip of the beverage. These attacks soften the enamel, and children and teenagers are prone to decay, as their enamel are not fully developed.
Sugary Drinks and Compromised Diet
Keep in mind that children don’t need sodas or sugary beverages to have a healthy or balanced diet. Sweet drinks, in fact, only decreases the quality of their food, as they contribute to unwanted weight gain and compromised oral health. This also introduces them to the habit of drinking sweet beverages, which likely to continue as they grow old.
Recommendations for Parents
Changing a kid’s diet, for sure, is not always easy. You have to remember, however, that young kids will only consume what their parents or caregivers give them. Pediatric dentists in Millcreek, Salt Lake Pediatric Dentist, share how you can limit consumption of sugary drinks:
- Be a good example, which means avoiding sweet drinks yourself. Note that children are likely to imitate what their parents do. You should also avoid keeping soda and other sugary beverages in the house.
- If your kid is already accustomed to drinking sugary drinks, gradually reduce their intake. Give them water-diluted versions at first and then make the switch to plain water.
- Instead of giving them fruit juice, encourage them to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. This will establish healthy eating habits, and help them with skills like chewing.
It is also important to help kids develop healthy oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing daily. You should also encourage them to drink plenty of water daily, as well as keep up with regular dental visits.