Sip Wisely: How To Keep Beverages From Negatively Affecting Your Child's Teeth

As a loving parent, you want to provide the best for your child. That means that you work hard to ensure that he or she is getting the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A varied diet is bound to include different beverages, but did you know that what your child drinks can impact his or her oral health?

You may already be aware that kids should stay away from too many sweets and candies. Yet, there are risks of tartar build-up and tooth decay associated with beverages, too. Here are some tips to help your child sip wisely:

Choose Fortified Milk and Juice

Before your little one reaches for milk or juice, be aware that these drinks contain large amounts of natural sugar. Monitor his or her consumption and be sure that he or she brushes after drinking. In addition, be sure to choose milk and juice that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D (if possible).

Dentists now know that the combination of calcium and vitamin D plays helps support the healthy growth of bones and teeth. Thus, including juices and milk in your child's daily diet is totally fine, as long as they are properly fortified.

No Drinks at Bedtime

Moreover, if you have a very young child who is still using a bottle, you should be careful not to offer milk, juice or any beverages other than water during bedtime. There is a condition called baby bottle tooth decay that occurs when infants are sucking on bottles filled with sugary liquids for prolonged periods. During naps or bedtime, the swallowing reflexes and saliva production wane. Thus, the sugary substance is allowed to pool in the child's mouth and promotes tooth decay.

No More Soda

Many children regularly consume carbonated soft drinks. Soda is acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel. In fact, one study indicates that tooth enamel left covered by a popular soft drink will lose about five percent of its weight in 48 hours. Since soda does usually contain any vital nutrients, eliminating it from your child's diet should not cause any nutritional deficiencies.

If your child craves flavored drinks with his or her meals and milk is not available, choose tea. It has antimicrobial properties and can still satisfy the desire for taste.

So now that you know more about beverages and children's oral health, speak to your local family dentist to learn more ways to protect your little one's teeth! Companies like Alaska Dentistry For Kids may be able to meet your needs in this area.