Raising a child in 2023 can be challenging for many reasons. One of those is the sheer number of drinks for kids available on the market. From the basics like milk and water to juices and beverages specifically marketed to children, parents have more choices than ever. And with your child’s dental health at stake, it’s important to know which drinks are best for your kid’s teeth, and which are worst.
Treehouse Dental Care will go over the details in this article. If you ever need further consultation, give us a call at 1-833-941-2903.
Diet Matters for Children’s Dental Health
Your child’s comprehensive health, which includes oral health, is like a series of building blocks. Each block matters, but the foundation is especially important. Diet is one of those integral pieces that no parent can overlook.
When it comes to your child’s oral health, it’s important to achieve a few nutritional goals. For example, calcium is an essential mineral to the well-being of your children’s teeth. Other lesser-known beneficial nutrients include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Each of these nutrients has specific functions in your child’s oral health. From saliva production to enamel strength, each of them is important. Do your best to reach the specific nutrient levels in your child’s diet. And don’t be afraid to discuss supplements with your doctor or dentist.
Why Sugar is Bad in Drinks for Kids
Foods that are high in sugar cause damage to teeth over time. Our mouths are full of bacteria that are fueled by sugar. The more sugar in your mouth, the greater the bacterial growth. Over time, this leads to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. This is especially true for kids’ teeth, whose teeth are more vulnerable than adult teeth. They’re softer, with a thinner coating of enamel.
That’s why it’s important to avoid overly sugary foods and to brush your child’s teeth after they consume anything sugary. Unfortunately, high-sugar foods are the cause of cavities for many children. This negative experience in childhood can lead to an aversion to the dentist later in life, so it’s important to take care of your child’s teeth as best as you can.
The Best Drinks for Kids
With so many selections, it’s hard to choose the best drinks for kids. Don’t worry, we’ll show you which drinks you should be serving most often. Keep reading!
Water is an obvious choice as a drink for kids. Life depends on water, so it’s clearly the number one choice. But although water is the best hydrator and it should be the most frequently chosen drink, it lacks nutritional properties.
Pro tip: Wake your child up with a glass of lukewarm water, and send them to bed with the same. It’s the best way to initiate your child’s natural systems and helps them stay hydrated throughout the night.
Is Milk Good for Teeth?
Milk is another good option that’s food for kids’ teeth. It has many of the previously mentioned beneficial nutrients for children’s enamel. When milk is included in a child’s diet, they have improved teeth and gum health. That’s because milk lowers acid levels and provides essential nutrients. For example, the phosphorus and calcium in milk help remineralization.
If you’re looking for more information on what’s good for your kid’s teeth, check out our article here!
That being said, milk does contain natural sugars. That means that you shouldn’t drink milk after brushing your teeth. And you especially shouldn’t send your child to bed with a glass of milk.
While fruit juice and milk alternatives aren’t the ideal choices for drinks for kids, they’re unavoidable. And it’s absolutely fine to offer these drinks to your child as a treat. We recommend not making them a regular habit, but there are still some safer options for treats.
Here are a few drinks you can try:
- 100% fruit juice with no added sugar
- Unsweetened milk alternatives
- Naturally-flavoured sparkling water
You have plenty of choices here! From different fruit juices to soy, almond and coconut milk! So get creative and avoid those sugars!
The Worst Drinks for Kids
Unfortunately, despite the many marketing campaigns for the following beverages, there are many drinks that are not good for your kids. In general, you should stay away from anything that has sugars added, even if it has other suggested health benefits.
We’ll go into more detail now!
This one is an obvious no-no. Soda has more added sugars than most other beverages, and the fizziness doesn’t help either. Pop can be addictive for children, so it’s best to avoid it entirely if you can. A sugar high can be a powerful motivator for a child, and it only leads to poor oral health and other health issues.
Why Juice is Bad for Kid’s Teeth
Unfortunately, despite all the ‘natural sugars’ and vitamins that can be found in fruit juice, it still remains an overall detriment to your child’s oral health. Even natural sugars cause a build-up of plaque and cavity-causing bacteria. So to avoid cavities and gum disease, try to limit fruit juice in your child’s diet.
Pro tip: dilute your child’s fruit juice drinks with some water. It will still taste delicious and it will mean less sugar over time. And it will save you money as you stretch those juice cartons for extra servings!
Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks
The truth: sports drinks are basically soda. Water is and will always be the best hydration. While sports drinks have added supplements that are designed to rehydrate your child after exertion, they’re rarely worth the added sugars. It’s best to stick to water, or no-sugar-added fruit juice that’s diluted.
Pro tip: Milk can also be a fantastic recovery drink!
Choose the Best Drinks for Kids With Treehouse Dental Care
As a parent, you want to make the best choices for your kid’s health. And Treehouse Dental Care is here to help you every step of the way. From diet tips, like which drinks to choose, and specialized pediatric dental services, you can trust our team to give you the best information.
When it comes to the best drinks for kids, you should generally stick to water. Milk is also a fantastic choice, but make sure to brush your kid’s teeth after! And if you can, choose no sugar added fruit juices. You can also dilute them with water!
If you’re looking for more information on your child’s diet and their teeth, don’t be afraid to contact us. And also, remember to keep up to date with your child’s regular cleanings!