Now that our children’s sports are getting back into action, it’s a great time to be mindful of what types of beverages they are using to rehydrate. Many of us buy sports drinks for our active kiddos to boost energy or increase stamina but did you know that this popular drink can also weaken teeth? Yes, it’s true! Sports drinks are a pediatric dentist’s nightmare. An average 32-ounce sports drink can contain between 56 to 76 grams of sugar, which is 4-6x the recommended daily amount for kids and teenagers. The amount of sugar and acid in these drinks can lead to harmful bacteria that can attack the enamel on teeth and ultimately cause cavities and decay!
Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy the benefits of sports drinks but reduce the damage it can cause your teeth:
- Drink in moderation. The best form of action against these sugary drinks is to be mindful of how often your kids are consuming them. Perhaps, only after your most rigorous workouts or when you are sick to replace those electrolytes and hydrate are when you really need them the most.
- Use a straw. The biggest thing in sports drinks that are hurting the enamel on your teeth is the sugar and acid so one of the best things you can do is to use a straw to help the liquid surpass your teeth.
- Dilute the drink with water. In order to get the benefits of a sport’s drink while reducing the acid that can lead to harmful bacteria that causes decay, simply dilute the drink to reduce its sugar and acid!
- Drinking water and chewing gum along with a sports drink can actually help balance out the PH of your mouth if you do not want to dilute the drink itself. So, the next time you reach for a sports drink, chew some gum after or drink it alongside a glass of water as well.
- Try out these sports drinks alternatives. Of course, water is the best way to keep hydrated but if it’s too bland for you, consider adding real fruit, herbs, and herbal tea bags with flavors like orange or passion fruit. Coconut water is another great alternative that contains those beneficial electrolytes you’re after such as potassium, sodium, and manganese. NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drinks and Roar Organics are also a good alternative to sugary drinks like Powerade and Gatorade.
There are some pros but definitely some cons when it comes to drinking sports drinks but they are not necessarily the healthiest option for you or your kiddos. We consider ourselves leaders in pediatric dentistry in the Acadiana area so if you have any specific questions about how sports drinks are affecting your children’s oral health, contact us today!