When children get ready to head back-to-school, parents must begin thinking about packing healthy lunches. Besides food, it is important to consider nutritious drinks that support good oral health. Here are a few dental tips that explain some good and bad beverage choices.
Soda. Some of the worst drinks to pack in a child’s lunch are carbonated beverages and sodas. Normally, these contain high amounts of sugar that destroy teeth. Many of these drinks contain acids that eat away at tooth enamel as well. Even canned teas often contain acids that enhance flavors and erode enamel.
Energy Drinks. Many parents pack sports drinks in kids’ lunches to give them a boost throughout the day. However, these drinks are known to be filled with sugar and acids as well. An unknown fact is a bottle of vitamin water may contain more sugar than a candy bar.
Juice. Juice may be considered a healthy option, but it contains high amounts of natural sugar. Citrus juices are the worst choices. Although they are filled with vitamins, they are loaded with acid that attacks teeth.
Water. To maintain healthy teeth, water is the first choice of dentists. Besides hydrating the body, it washes away debris that sticks in the mouth and prevents the growth of harmful cavity-causing bacteria. The American Dental Association explains water should contain fluoride to protect teeth from decay.
Milk. The calcium in milk provides healthy bones and strong teeth. This mineral protects the mouth from developing gum disease and jaw problems as well.
Unsweetened Tea. Tea without sugar will not harm teeth. Unsweetened green tea has been shown to keep breath fresh and gums healthy. It contains powerful antioxidants that lower the accumulation of plaque and acidic saliva.
No matter what drinks are packed in a child’s lunchbox, he or she must still follow a positive oral care routine. It is essential to brush twice a day, floss, and visit the dentist on a regular basis. These steps prevent and detect problems early so that they do not become major issues.