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Why Children Should Avoid Sugary Sports Drinks

red and blue sports drinks

With the warm weather fast approaching, kids are looking for juices and energy drinks to cool down. However, even sports drinks such as Gatorade are filled with sugar, leaving kids craving even more sugary treats.

Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade are filled with carbs, minerals and electrolytes. These beverages replace water and electrolytes that are lost through sweating when exercising. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly urges parents to avoid giving children these beverages as frequent consumption leads to obesity and tooth decay. The AAP recommends kids drink plain water both during and after exercise.

According to a study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry, sports drinks contain so much acid that your teeth can get destroyed after five days of consistent use. It’s actually not the high levels of sugar that damage your teeth but the intense amount of acidity. The tooth’s enamel gets broken down from the acid in the drinks so over time, teeth become sensitive to temperature changes.

If your children are still drinking sports drinks, there are some tips to reduce damage:

  • Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth – Brushing right after drinking acidic drinks can cause corrosion of dentin.
  • Drink with a straw
  • Alternate by drinking with sips of water
  • Rinse with water after consuming sports drinks

When enamel is stripped, teeth become extremely sensitive, making them prone to cavities. If you know your child is going to be participating in rigorous activity, they should drink plenty of water. Some parents choose to infuse water with tasty fruit such as strawberries, cucumbers or orange slices.

Is your child’s enamel wearing away? If you notice your son or daughter’s teeth being damaged, have them come into Lindner Dental for a checkup. Our pediatric dentists have years of experience providing anxiety-free dental care to infants, children and teens.