How carbonated drinks and juice affects children’s teeth?

How carbonated drinks and juice affects children’s teeth

Tooth decay is a universal dental health issue affecting all children. One of the most common effects of tooth decay is food habits. Be it with sugary foods or juice contents, the probability of getting tooth decay is very high. So how does the soda in the carbonated drinks affect toddler’s teeth?

Kids are often attracted by the advertisements and the colourful drinks that are displayed in the shop shelves. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises limiting sugar to only 10% of a toddler’s caloric intake. A three year old, daily caloric intake is about 1,100 calories, which equates to 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Most carbonated drinks and juices contain nearly triple that amount in a single serving.

How does sugar cause Teeth Decay?
Sugar is not the sole culprit that causes teeth decay. It is imperative to know how sugar affects the teeth enamel. The damage is mainly caused by the acids that are produced in the mouth. The bacteria in the kids mouth, use sugar as their food source to flourish, in the process of breakdown of the sugar they release acids. The acid then breakdown the enamel and remove all important minerals for strengthening the enamel. As a result the kids end up with tooth decay, cavities, toothaches and tooth sensitivity.

How can my kids help avoid Tooth Decay?
The best way is to avoid sugary substances. However, the occasional sugary treat is okay. But, when it comes to drinks and juices, choose those with low to no sugar. One of the best drink for a child is water. Water helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth and on the teeth. It also keeps your tongue moist, which helps with saliva production.

Fruits are rich in water content. One way of encouraging your child drink more water is by adding fruit. Fruits blended with water gives a natural flavour with no added sugar contents or harmful ingredients.

Milk is another excellent beverage choice. Milk contains calcium and vitamin D, both are nutrients that are essential for building strong bones and teeth. Plain milk is best preferred over chocolate or any flavoured milk.

Does brushing teeth after having a carbonated drink help avoid tooth decay?
It is recommended to swish the mouth with water after a carbonated drink. This can be done immediately after consuming a sugary drink. Brushing the kid’s teeth immediately after a drink may not help much because teeth are sensitive immediately after consuming sweets. The friction caused by brushing the teeth can actually spread the bacteria more. So doctors recommend brushing the teeth after an hour of taking carbonated drinks or juices.

Other tips to avoid tooth decay:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene measures and best to avoid sugary drinks altogether.
  • Don’t permit kids to have more than one soft drink per day. One is sufficient to cause enough damage.
  • Dilute the drinks with water, or give water flavoured fruit drinks in moderation
  • Use a straw for a drink, to avoid juice coming in contact with teeth surfaces.
  • Avoid soft drinks before bed time. Any sweet before bed requires a swish swash with water.
  • Get a regular scaling and dental check-up done.

Do visit us at Oris Dental Center for a consultation.

Pediatric Dentistry

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