Sports drinks and energy drinks have been rapidly gaining popularity over the last few years, especially with children and adolescents. While they claim to be good for your child due to the fact that they’re packed with electrolytes, they’re also packed with things that can harm your child’s teeth.
HARMFUL FOR TEETH
Sports drinks are packed with not only electrolytes but with other things that are harmful for your young athlete’s teeth. Let’s start with sugar. Sports drinks can have as much as 21 grams of sugar per serving, that’s equal if not more than the leading cola beverage. The sugar is damaging to tooth enamel and can lead to not only cavities but other oral issues. Sugar is a fuel for harmful oral bacteria and that bacteria eats away at the enamel on young teeth.
High amounts of acid are another reason to avoid sports drinks. The acidic nature of the sports drinks can interfere with your child’s mouth’s ability to regulate healthy pH balance. This also leads to enamel erosion, which makes teeth more susceptible to cavities and decay.
Another surprising ingredient of popular sports drinks is sodium. They may contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounce serving. This much salt is harmful for your entire body and can lead to a false sense of hydration while the sodium is actually dehydrating your body.
ALL SPORTS DRINKS IN MODERATION
Like all sweets and treats, our dentists recommend that you use moderation when giving your child sports drinks. After a particularly hot soccer game or good exercise session is ok, but having a sports drink with meals, after school or just because they’re thirsty is not a good idea.
If you have concerns about the amount of sports drinks your child has consumed, don’t hesitate to call our office and schedule a cleaning. During your exam, we can look at your child’s teeth and explore some alternatives to sports drinks.