One of the biggest hazards to your child’s tooth enamel is the drinks they consume on a daily basis. As a parent, it’s important that you provide your child with drinks that will be healthy for their teeth, rather than damage them. Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry has put together a list of the top drinks for your child to avoid, as well as healthy alternatives.

Drinks that Damage your Child’s Tooth Enamel

When selecting what your child is washing down their snack or meal with, make sure to consider how healthy it is for their teeth. Children are more susceptible to tooth decay because their enamel isn’t fully formed yet. Because of this, Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry recommends having your children avoid these top offending drinks:

Soda

Why is soda one of the worst drinks for your child’s teeth? It combines sugar and acids – both of which are harmful to tooth enamel. Acid eats away at the enamel, while sugar builds on the teeth to breed cavities.

Sweet Tea

Just like soda, sweet tea is chock-full of sugar. These sugars quickly lead to tooth decay. Bacteria accumulates on the teeth and begins to eat away at the enamel.

Lemonade

In addition to sugar, lemonade is loaded with acids that wear down tooth enamel. Acids temporarily soften tooth enamel while drinking it, and exposes your teeth to more damaging amounts of acidity.

Energy/Sports Drinks

Before you allow your child to drink a Gatorade with their lunch, you should know that these “power” drinks are often more harmful to tooth enamel than soda or juices. According to a study done at the University of Iowa, energy and sports drinks, like Red Bull and Gatorade, eroded enamel more than soda or fruit drinks.

Coffee

While coffee is more often an adult beverage, it’s important to know the risks it brings to your child’s teeth if they drink it. Coffee breeds the same bacteria that leads to tooth decay and cavities. Coffee also easily stains teeth because of an ingredient called tannins, which are a type of polyphenol that breaks down in water.

Healthy Drink Options for your Children

Instead of giving your child soda, tea, or juice to drink, try giving them a healthier alternative. The best drinks for dental health are:

Water

It’s no surprise that water is one of the best options for your children’s teeth. Water washes away food residual and bacteria to help stave off tooth decay. Drinking enough water also ensures that the body is hydrated enough to produce saliva, a crucial defense for oral health.

Milk

Packed with calcium, milk helps strengthen teeth and bones. Your child’s tooth enamel is fortified when they drink milk. Your child should still rinse their teeth with water after drinking milk because it does have natural sugars that lead to tooth decay.

Green Tea

While sweet tea should be avoided, brewed green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which help fight bacteria. Avoid adding sugar or honey in the tea as this will cancel out the benefits of the polyphenols and be a risk to your child’s tooth enamel.

Ask the experts at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re unsure of what’s safe and what’s not for your child’s oral health, reach out to our friendly staff at our pediatric dentistry in Charlotte. We can answer your questions and make sure your child is receiving the best treatment for their teeth.