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Sports Drinks – What They're Doing to Your Teeth

Sports drinks – the yummy and desirable liquid gold that your kids drink during a soccer game, for lunch at school, or with a snack when they get home. Did you know these deceiving drinks can actually be dangerous for your young athlete's teeth, though? You read that right! Although sports drinks provide needed electrolytes to keep your child hydrated on and off the field, the amount of added sugar can be damaging for healthy teeth.

Too Much Sugar

The type of drinks your child consumes is a key determinant in the amount of sugar she or he is exposed too. Tooth decay starts with food particles on your teeth, and the sugar contained in sport and energy drinks sits on their teeth until they have an opportunity to brush, floss, and wash it all away. Left uncleaned, bacteria begin to form and the acid produced can slowly attack the tooth’s enamel which can lead to further tooth decay or other serious dental problems.

Potential for Increased Health Problems

Let’s face it, kids like sports drinks when they are competing or are at practice. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids consume water in place of sports drinks. Drinking water promotes good oral health keeps them in good physical condition. The extra sugar in sports drinks isn’t the only potentially harmful ingredient in the mix. Other ingredients found in sports and energy drinks can lead to an increase in calories which your child may not burn during competition. Over time, this increase can lead to weight gain and other potential health problems.

As we get ready to head back to school and fall, sports begin, be sure to speak with your child about the types of sports or energy drinks they’re consuming. It's also important to remind them to brush and floss after practice or a game to promote good oral health.