If your child plays sports, such as soccer or gymnastics, they may drink different types of beverages to stay hydrated. Some of the beverages your loved one might consume too much are sports drinks. Although athletes of all ages consume sports drinks, the beverages might not be good for their teeth. Learn more about sports drinks and how they affect your youngster's teeth below.
How Does Sports Drinks Affect Your Child's Teeth?
Sports drinks may seem like the perfect beverage to consume before and after playing sports, but they aren't. Although the popular beverages contain electrolytes, minerals, and other nutrients, they also contain high levels of caffeine and artificial sugar. Artificial sugar is one of the leading causes of high blood sugar, obesity, and tooth decay.
Once sugar sticks to the surface of your child's teeth, it attracts bacteria and converts into acid. The acid gradually consumes the surface of your child's teeth. If your child brushes their teeth several times a day, they can remove most of the acid coating their teeth. But if your child doesn't brush their teeth properly, the acid can create tiny openings in their enamel called cavities.
Cavities can lead to tooth abscesses and gum infection over time. These types of dental conditions can worsen without treatment. If you're concerned about your child's dental health, consult a pediatric dentist right away.
How Do You Keep Your Child Hydrated and Cavity-Free?
A pediatric dentist will examine your loved one's teeth to see if they contain any tooth decay. If a dentist notes cavities in your child's teeth, they'll treat the decay with fillings and other dental restorations. A dentist may also coat your child's teeth with sealants to keep new cavities from setting in.
After the exam and treatment, a provider may offer you a list of alternative beverages to serve your child. The list may include plain water, unsweetened natural fruit juice, and milk. Some children enjoy unsweetened almond milk and yogurt shakes as well.
If your child insists on drinking sports beverages, opt to low-sugar versions instead of regular drinks. You may also consider making your own sports beverages to quench your child's thirst. The beverages may contain tooth-friendly ingredients, such as apple juice and plain sparkling water. Sparking water should be fine as long as it doesn't contain lime, lemon, strawberry, and other acidic flavors and ingredients. You also want to make sure that your child drinks plenty of plain water before and after sports.
For more information regarding sports drinks and how to keep your loved one's teeth free of decay, contact a pediatric dental clinic today.