It is a common misconception that sports drinks are a healthier choice than other common drinks, such as pop or fruit juice. The reality is that if consumed in excess, they can cause serious damage to your teeth.
Sports drinks are often touted a healthier alternative to beverages like pop and juice, and so many people believe that these drinks are good for you. Sports drinks are, in fact, often quite high in salt, sugar, and calories.
Sports drinks also contain high levels of acidity, which can erode dental enamel. All these factors mean that, when consumed in abundance, they can have a negative impact on your oral health.
What, specifically, makes sports drinks bad for teeth?
The acid in these drinks, and that created by the bacteria that feed on sugars in your mouth, break down the enamel and the dentin of your teeth, eventually resulting in cavities. This breakdown of enamel also causes tooth sensitivity to temperature change and touch.
Should I stop allowing my child to drink sports drinks completely?
As with most processed foods and beverages, sports drinks are fine to consume in moderation. That is, they should be approached as an occasional treat, and not an everyday indulgence.
And of course, paying extra attention brushing and flossing after a treat is always a good idea!
What should my child drink instead?
You probably won't be surprised to learn that the best drink you can choose to quench your child’s thirst is water.
If your child wants something with some additional flavor or variety, you can experiment with adding different fruits or even veggies to the water. Lemons, oranges, or limes add some zip and sweetness, and adding some cucumber slices can be very refreshing!