Your child deserves a bright, white, brilliant smile that matches his fun-loving personality. Daily brushing is one of the most important ways to protect his teeth, but it’s important to consider how his beverage choices are affecting his oral health as well.
Soda, juice, and other popular beverages wreak havoc on the mouth and increase the likelihood of cavities, decay, and even gum disease in the future. Water is always the best choice, which is exactly why it’s the key to a bright smile.
Choose Water Because… Soda and Juice Eat Away at the Teeth
Soda is your mouth’s worst enemy! Every sip of soda coats your teeth in a layer of harmful acid and sugar that erodes protective enamel. It takes at least 20 minutes for saliva to wash away the sugar and acid deposited by one mouthful of soda. If your child sips a cup of soda over the span of an hour, his teeth remain under constant attack.
If your child enjoys the carbonation of soda, try swapping Pepsi or Sprite with naturally flavored seltzer water instead. You can satisfy that craving for a bubbly, carbonated drink without sacrificing oral health in the process!
Fruit juices aren’t much better than soda. Sure, some of them might contain vitamins, but they’re also jam-packed with sugar and acid. Just eight ounces of apple or orange juice contains 20-25 grams of sugar, which is awfully close to the 27 grams of sugar contained in eight ounces of Pepsi.
When teeth are regularly exposed to so much sugar and acid, they become soft. Enamel erodes and cavities begin to form. Though one small glass of orange juice with breakfast won’t immediately ruin your child’s smile, water is always a better choice to guarantee healthy teeth.
Water Washes Away Bacteria and Debris
Water is the only beverage choice that doesn’t compromise your oral health with sugar and extra ingredients. Instead, water washes away food debris and sugar after you eat. This makes it much harder for bacteria to eat away at the teeth and cause cavities. Water also dilutes harmful acid lingering on tooth enamel.
Even if your child eats a few too many fruit snacks, sipping water throughout the day consistently washes away sugar and acid before they have the chance to cause harm.
A Hydrated Mouth Has More Saliva
Your child can’t have healthy gums, clean teeth, or a white smile without saliva. And water helps create saliva!
Saliva plays a number of critical roles within your mouth and digestive system. It neutralizes acids to prevent tooth decay and provides the enzymes your child needs to break down food.
Drinking water encourages saliva production, which in turn keeps your child’s mouth better protected from cavities, sugar, and bacteria.
H2O Keeps Teeth Strong
Anytime sugars and acids have the chance to linger in your mouth, they quickly leech calcium, phosphate, and other healthy minerals out of your teeth in a process called demineralization This is a primary cause of cavities, decay, and enamel erosion.
Healthy saliva contains calcium and phosphate ions that repair enamel damage and restore the strength of your teeth. As soon as healthy saliva covers your child’s teeth, it helps replace lost minerals and reverse demineralization.
5 Tips to Encourage Your Child to Drink More Water
Your child learns his habits from you, so it’s important that he learns about the importance of drinking water from you as well. Use these five simple tips to show your child the importance of water and help him adopt water-wise habits.
- Be a role model: Drink water, and plenty of it, so that your child understands it’s a normal and healthy part of his routine.
- Use crazy straws and fun cups: Water doesn’t offer the delicious taste of fruit juice, so make drinking water fun with crazy straws and special cups. You can even buy your child a special water cup to encourage him to drink more H20.
- Dilute juice: You don’t have to eliminate juice from your house altogether, but it’s important to cut back. If your child does want juice, dilute 20% juice in 80% water. Your child can still enjoy the taste, but in a much healthier way.
- Add colorful fruit to water: Adding fruit to water is a popular trick that even adults use to encourage hydration. Cucumbers, strawberries, grapes, and apples all make popular additions to water.
- Eat food with high water content: You can even sneak water into your child’s routine with food that’s high in water content. Watermelon, for example, is tasty and very healthy. Snacks and meals with high water content do a great job of cleaning the teeth and gums.
Visit Your Pediatric Dentist Today
At All Smiles Children’s Dentistry in Vista, California, Dr. Houri and her team make it their mission to protect your child’s smile. The All Smiles family prides itself in treating patients with compassion, care, and creativity. Call today to schedule an appointment and ensure your child’s smile is protected for years to come.