This post is all about sports drinks – we’ll be brief. We only want to highlight what’s important. We’ll focus on some important steps to help improve your child’s dental care.
Limit your athlete’s intake of sports drinks.
Sports drinks are popular among young athletes – they are bombarded by marketing messages and popular professional athletes which drives greater consumption. However, sports drinks are sugary and acidic so these “harmless and healthy” liquids can actually wreak havoc on teeth.
The combination of acidic components, sugars, and additives in sports drinks combine to erode the tooth’s surface, weakening the enamel that protects teeth from bacteria. The enamel erosion ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria and that can lead to hypersensitivity, staining, and tooth decay. So it’s critical to limit the amount of sports drinks that your child or young teenager consumes during sports.
Brushing Teeth and Sports Drinks
Don’t have your student athlete brush his/her teeth immediately after finishing a sports drink. Consumption of acidic drinks causes tooth enamel to soften, making teeth more susceptible to more wear from the abrasives in toothpaste. Wait 45 minutes to an hour before brushing. In that time, saliva will start its work to re-mineralize the tooth structure and neutralize the damage. Saliva won’t remove the sugar residue, so you still have to brush.
Make regular dental care a part of your child’s routine.
Most children should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. It’s also preventable with proper care.