Sports outings, beach vacations and long days at the neighborhood pool are near! All the fun of summer requires staying hydrated and your family will likely guzzle down any beverage they find when the days are hot. Unfortunately, some popular options can harm their oral health. Help your family beat the heat the healthy way by stocking up on better choices. Review our suggestions for a guide on the best and worst drinks you’ll encounter:

Good: Water
There’s one beverage dental professionals agree on as the most beneficial: water. Water, especially with fluoride, helps strengthen and clean your teeth. H20 flushes away food particles and residue that bacteria stick to, helping prevent cavities. It helps mitigate the negative effects acidic foods have on tooth enamel by regulating your mouth’s tPh level.  As a calorie-free and fast-hydrating option, you can’t go wrong taking a few bottles wherever you go.

Good: Milk
We all know that milk builds strong bones and that includes your teeth! Especially helpful for growing children, milk and other dairy products are rich in bone-loving calcium. This childhood classic also contains a protein called casein; a substance that helps fight tooth decay by strengthening enamel.

Good: Low Sugar Vegetable Juice
If you don’t like eating your veggies, just drink them. Look for a green juice with kale or spinach, which contain healthy B vitamins that fight gum disease. Leafy greens are high in calcium, too. When buying vegetable juice, look for “no sugar added” labels and limit the percentage of fruit.

Bad: Fruit Juices
Many fruit juices are laden with as much sugar as soda, including juices from concentrate. Apple juice has as much as ten tsp. of sugar per serving, the same amount in the leading brand cola. Sugar and citric acids in fruit juice contribute to tooth decay and enamel loss, so it’s best to avoid these sugary go-tos. If you can’t go without a glass of OJ in the morning, try cutting it with water or opting for a low-sugar alternative.

Bad: Sports Drinks
Another culprit of tooth decay are sports drinks. These high-calorie liquids present dangers to your oral and overall health, although typically marketed as beneficial. Not only do they contain up to nineteen grams of sugar per serving but are sometimes infused with an unhealthy amount of sodium (salt). Almost as much sodium as a bag of chips! Check all ingredients and nutrition facts before buying any type of sports drink to steer clear of this undercover danger.

Bad: Sodas
Sodas have a bad reputation for a good reason. They are high in two of the worst things for teeth: sugar and acid. Some sodas contain more than the total recommended amount of daily sugar in one twenty ounce bottle. This high sugar and acid content eat away the enamel that protects teeth, leading to cavities. That’s not all, consuming too much soda causes harm to your health as well as soda consumption correlates to a risk of diabetes and other diseases. Some cities and states even impose an extra tax on these beverages due to their harmful nature. Your best bet is to stay away from these bubbling beasts altogether.

Reducing Negative Effects
We can’t be with our children all the time. That makes it hard to limit their intake of harmful drinks.  Help reduce some of the negative effects by teaching them to swish with water once they’re finished with their beverage of choice. Cultivate good preventative habits by helping them brush their teeth at least twice per day and flossing once per day to remove debris between their teeth.

Are you worried your child drinks too much soda or do you hear them complain about sensitive teeth? Then visit our office and we evaluate your child’s smile and determine if there are any issues.