How Energy Drinks Can Affect My Child’s Oral Health
We all know about the harmful effects soda and sugary beverages have on children’s teeth, and energy drinks are no exception. With an alarming 30 to 50 percent of teens guzzling down energy drinks, more and more of our young patients are developing oral health problems. Read on to find out about the risks associated with energy drinks.
How Do Energy Drinks Affect Your Child’s Oral Health?
As your child’s teeth develop and the permanent ones emerge, it takes a while for the enamel to harden. That leaves children more susceptible to acid attacks and tooth decay. Energy drinks are mostly made up of water, with minimal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. However, some of their ingredients are harmful to your child’s oral health.
Sugar: Constant exposure to sugar in energy drinks provides cavity-causing bacteria with an abundant food source. As they feast, bacteria produce acids that attack and weaken the tooth enamel’s outermost layer. That is the first stage in cavity development, which, if left untreated, can continue to progress.
Acids: All energy drinks, even the sugar-free ones, contain an incredibly low pH level, which means they are highly acidic, almost as acidic as battery acid. That softens the tooth enamel, leaving your child’s teeth highly vulnerable to decay, cavities, and even tooth rot.
Caffeine: Energy drinks are high in caffeine, a natural diuretic, which could ultimately result in loss of calcium needed for the healthy development of teeth and bones. A lack of calcium also affects the jawbone, leading to problems in mobility.
How Do Energy Drinks Affect Your Child’s Overall Health?
Energy drinks harm more than your child’s oral health. The high amounts of caffeine they contain can cause health concerns in children and teens. Many experience sleep interruptions, anxiety, nervousness, raised heartbeats, frequent urination, and headaches. Despite their claim of boosting energy levels, many children consuming energy drinks find difficulty concentrating. Moreover, large amounts of sugary drinks often lead to obesity and diabetes.
What Should Children Drink Instead?
Rather than reaching out for energy drinks or sugary beverages, encourage your child to indulge in the best drink of all, water! Low-fat milk or all-natural fruit juice are also healthy alternatives. For that added energy boost after soccer practice or a dance rehearsal, consider providing your child with a healthy snack, such as sliced fresh fruit, raw vegetables, or whole-wheat crackers.
Educate Your Children
Children and teens reaching out for energy drinks are often oblivious to the many harms they pose. Talk to your child about the risks of consuming these beverages, especially teens that may be purchasing these drinks on their own. Present the facts that these drinks do not help with weight loss or studying for a test, but in fact, the adverse effects far outweigh any benefits they claim to offer. Most importantly, model the healthy behavior you expect of your child.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry Services in Glendale, AZ
Talk to our team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about healthy choices for long-term healthy smiles. We are proud to offer preventive dentistry services designed to keep your child’s smile in tip-top shape. Call us and schedule your child’s appointment today!