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Sugary Drinks: The Bitter Truth

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and our blog today is for parents everywhere!

As if parenting weren’t already challenging enough, a new study released by the CDC has given us one more thing to deal with: the bitter truth about sugar-sweetened drinks.

The study concludes that nearly 63% of kids in the U.S. ages 2-19 consume at least one sugar-sweetened drink every single day. One drink per day may not seem like a lot, but when you think about how much sugar is in each serving, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth!

It’s no secret that too much sugar in our diet can lead to all kinds of health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes. What’s just as troubling are the effects too much sugar can have on our oral health.

We’re parents, too. We know how hard it is to juggle hectic work, school, and sports schedules each week. Who has time to stop and read every ingredient or to sift through fact from fiction on product labels?

Not us, and probably not you, either! The truth is many of the drinks this study talks about are the same ones you see in the grocery stores with a cartoon character on the label promising that beverage is a healthy option for our kids. Looks can be deceiving!

A product can claim to be low-fat, for example, but they don’t have to tell us they had to add more sugar to make up for the taste. A product can claim to have less sugar per serving, but they don’t have to draw your attention to the fact that one bottle contains 2 servings.

See what we mean? We all have enough going on each day to have to add nutritional detective to our list of responsibilities!

Luckily, our team at Mountain View Dental in Acworth, GA are here to help parents just like you!

We want to take the guesswork out of how to best protect your child’s dental health by sharing our best tips for preventing tooth decay.

Spoiler Alert: This does NOT involve throwing away all those sports drinks and fruit juices you already have stocked in the fridge!

Tips for Teeth!

  1. Moderation! – We’re not saying you should avoid those colorful sports energy drinks, fizzy sodas, or fruit drinks. If you can limit your kids’ intake to one of these drinks per day AND practice the rest of tips on the list, they can still stay on top of the oral health game!
  2. Use a straw! – This helps all that sugary goodness pass through the mouth more swiftly so the liquids don’t make themselves comfortable in the nooks and crannies of your kid’s teeth!
  3. Skip the sip! – Sipping slowly on sugary drinks is the last thing kids should do. The longer your child’s teeth are exposed to sugars and acids, the more harmful they can be. So the kiddos might actually have your permission to gulp it down! But manners are still important, so you can use your judgment on that one!
  4. Be Friends with Fluoride! – After that energy drink, make sure your child waits for about an hour before they brush and that they’re using a toothpaste with fluoride. They can also rinse their mouth with tap water that’s been fluoridated. Fluoride protects their enamel from the effects of these guilty pleasure kids drinks!
  5. Avoid the Night-Night No-No! – Kids should stay away from these drinks before bedtime. It would give sugars and acids several hours to creep into the little corners of their mouths and cozy up! The best beverage choice in this case is water, but not too much….for obvious reasons!
  6. Take them to the dentist! – Along with practicing good oral hygiene at home, you want to make sure they’re seeing the dentist for regular cleanings and exams!

 

Time to schedule a dental checkup for the kids? Call Mountain View Dental today at 770-615-7326, and let Dr. Reese or Dr. Smith care for your kids’ oral health!
We’re here to help kids and parents make the bitter truth about sugary drinks a little easier to swallow!