It’s almost summertime, the kids will be home from school and the heat in Southeast Texas will definitely rise. Moms know that means having more snacks in the house and cool drinks ready for those long summer days.
We thought it would be helpful to talk about some of the better drink options to have on hand and make you aware of some of the worst.
Let’s Start with Drinks to Avoid
Let’s face it, this one will not surprise you. The amount of sugar and acid can destroy your tooth enamel and cause decay. It will also not help with hydration during the summer months and can lower your saliva levels, causing dry mouth.
Advertised as an option to hydrate the body during workouts, they are not the best option for your oral health. Sports drinks are typically loaded with sugar and high in acid, some even more than sodas. The higher sodium levels are fine if you’re working up a sweat but consuming them often or just as a drink is not a healthy option. If you choose to have these, use at the right times and in moderation.
There’s been many debates on energy drinks and their affect to your overall health, especially young children and teens, but we’re going to limit this discussion to your oral care. Energy drinks tend to contain high levels of sugar and acid, which will damage the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay, and with no real health benefit from drinking them, it doesn’t seem worth it.
Sounds healthy, right? But again, we have higher amounts of sugar and acid in juice, weakening the enamel of your teeth. Concentrated juices have even higher acidic levels. If you really want juice, try adding a bit of water to dilute it, keeping the flavor while lowering the sugar and acid levels. And it’s always good to drink some water after to wash out the mouth.
Best Drinks to Have
You knew this was going to be the first choice. Water doesn’t have sugar, it’s non-acidic, doesn’t stain your teeth and keeps the body hydrated to improve your overall health. The health benefits of drinking water completely outweigh all other drinks and getting your kids in the routine at a young age will stick with them for a lifetime.
The general recommendation is to drink half your weight in ounces each day.
Milk is full of calcium, providing strength to your teeth and bones. Of course, there is natural sugar, so we suggest not leaving young children with bottles in their mouth for long periods of time. If they have an intolerance to milk, look for heathy alternatives like almond or soy milks that are calcium fortified.
Green tea doesn’t seem like something young children would drink, but it can be served hot or iced and there are numerous health benefits from drinking it. Studies show that the antioxidants in green tea can kill bacteria and lower the acidity of saliva and dental plaque. It has also been suggested that it promotes periodontal health by reducing inflammation. Just be aware if it’s sweetened and with what, and like anything else, moderation is key.
Always feel free to reach out to your local dentist and ask, it’s what we’re here for.