A typical and congested day of teens includes shuffling through classes, sports, plays and part time jobs which always keep them on their toes. In trying to keep-up with their fast paced jam-packed schedule, teens are becoming more dependent on quick snacks like carbonated drinks and nutrition bars. These quick snacks keep them alert but they are causing irreversible damage to their oral health.
Jane Soxman, DDS, is of the view ‘Premature loss of tooth enamel and weakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral effects of teens’ poor diet that cannot be reversed later in life.”
What are adverse effects of carbonated drinks on teens’ oral health?
Adolescence is a time period for optimal bone growth, so more nutrients are needed to strengthen teeth and bones. But these nutrients and calories begin to counteract when teens’ tend to consume carbonated drinks and the following damages begin to occur to their oral health:
- Carbonated drinks are a major reason of increasing cavities among teens.
- Acids in sodas and energy drinks break down tooth enamel, especially around sealants and previously done restorations thus leading to tooth decay or tooth loss.
- Phosphoric, citric, tartaric and carbonic acids in various carbonated drinks limit the calcium absorption capacity in the bone structure of the oral cavity. This lack of calcium intake can lead to periodontal bone loss.
How does snacking affect your teeth?
To-go bars and non-nutritious snacks are affecting teens’ teeth and over the time, they can take a toll on their teeth.
- When sugar in the nutrition bars or snacks comes into contact with the bacteria in the mouth, it attacks teeth and eventually results in tooth decay.
- Added sugars in foods may lead to tooth decay. Read the food labels and choose the foods with low added sugars.
- Non-nutritious snacks or foods make it difficult for tissues in mouth to resist infection and this may lead to periodontal disease.
Contact Dr. Bikram Singh DMD for the best possible and state-of-art dental solutions. Our certified dental expert uses top of the line techniques and as well helps you to fight back dental problems.
With summers approaching; kids would soon get indulged in outdoor activities. As they play in the hot sun, they will feel more temped to drink sugary sports drinks or energy drinks in large quantity to stay cool and hydrated. Dentists have always been of the view that over-consumption of these sugary beverages harm the child’s teeth, so they advise parents to monitor and limit the number of these drinks. Dentists understand the need of the young athletes to stay hydrated but they also state that young athletes do not necessarily need to intake these sports drinks to replace the carbohydrates, proteins and electrolytes after exercise.
What do the Sports Drinks contain?
Sports Drinks consist of minerals, carbohydrates, electrolytes and flavouring. These drinks are intended to replace the water and electrolytes lost during vigorous exercise or sports activities. But these drinks are usually unnecessary and harmful as they carry extra calories and whereas plain water is still the best energizer. The extra calories in these drinks just result in obesity and dental problems.
What damages can sports drinks cause to our teeth?
Studies show that sports drinks can cause three to eleven times greater enamel damage than carbonated drinks. These drinks can cause following damages to your child’s teeth:
- High levels of acidity and sugar concentrations in the sports’ drinks can erode both enamel and roots of the teeth.
- Sugar itself does not rot the teeth but the acid that is produced after sugar comes into the contact with certain bacteria in the mouth, rots the teeth.
- These drinks are damaging because they get prolonged amount of time washed over the teeth as they are sipped throughout the day.
- Acid from these sugary drinks can have an erosive effect on the entire tooth.
- The tooth enamel can lose calcium because of acidity present in the sports drinks.
- Thee erosive acids in sports’ drinks dissolve even the fluoride rich enamel and cause caries.
What preventive measures can parents take to control the consumption of sports drinks?
Parents can follow below listed preventive measures to save their child’s teeth from getting eroded:
- Encourage children to consume water instead of sports drinks.
- If children consume sports drinks, they should consume as much water, as water will wash away any residual sports drink and it will not linger on their teeth.
- Parents can also encourage their children to dilute drink with water as it will lessen the sugar and acidity concentration.
- Reduce the drink size and use a straw to keep the damaging liquid away from your teeth.
- Reduce the contact time of sports drink with your teeth by swallowing them immediately.
- Do not swish sports drinks around the mouth.
- Do not forget to rinse your mouthguards only in water.
- Seek out dental friendly sports drinks.
- Add-in the slices of fresh fruits like oranges or strawberries to make water more appealing.
- You can also offer them low-fat chocolate milk instead, as they also are good at promoting recovery between workouts.
Contact Dr. Bikram Singh DMD to prevent and fight back severe dental problems and save your child from tooth decay or tooth lose.