Many children seem to prefer juice, milk, flavoured milks, cordial or even soft drink instead of water. However drinking these high sugar drinks frequently is not only bad for your child’s overall health, it is very bad for their dental health. Baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth and therefore decay more rapidly.
Juices, cordials and even milks are very high in sugar. While many parents argue that natural sugar isn’t harmful to health, natural or unnatural sugars are damaging to tooth enamel. While we aren’t saying your children can never have these drinks, we promote moderation for these sweet treats.
If your child does have a juice or soft drink, try to give them a drink of water afterwards, to rinse away excess acid and sugar from their mouth. Even better – brush their teeth. The sugars and acids from these drinks stay in the saliva, washing over your child’s teeth for long periods of time. This is what causes tooth decay.
Babies are particularly susceptible to dental disease from their bottles. Giving your baby or toddler a bottle of milk at bedtime dramatically increases their risk of getting holes in their teeth. This is known as ‘early childhood caries’ or ‘baby bottle tooth decay’. The milk pools in their mouth as they sleep and the sugar in the milk causes holes in your baby’s teeth.
If your baby really needs a bottle at bedtime, fill it with water, not milk. If your baby already has a bottle of milk when they sleep, gradually dilute the milk with water over 1-2 weeks until your baby is okay with drinking water as they sleep.
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, limiting sugary drinks to special occasions and scheduling regular dental check-ups with your local My Kids Dentist will ensure your kid’s teeth stay healthy.