7 Best and Worst drinks for kids

Humans are made up of 80% water, and hence water constitutes a major part of our diet. The kids are no exception to this rule as they spend more time in games and other physically challenging sport activities. And with the start of summer and temperatures raising, the need to replenish our bodies water and electrolyte balance takes precedence.
You find an array of products on the shelves, whose health benefits are constantly told by product manufactures in their advertisements. But did you know that some of these products, although might seem good enough could be a cause of concern when it comes to the health of your child’s teeth.
Let’s find out about the best and worst drinks for your child’s teeth
Drinks that are good for your child’s teeth

Water

The humble water is probably one of the best health drinks for your child when the health of the teeth are to be considered. Water containing fluoride is an added bonus as the fluoride in the water also helps in building stronger teeth that are more resistant to decay. The water also helps in flushing away food debris in the mouth. It keep your child well hydrated and prevents the mouth from drying. So it’s a 10/10 for the water.
Some of you may add some water-flavouring syrups to water to get your little ones to get their fill. However, you have to be aware that these additives have sugar or artificial sweeteners and other additives that could be harmful. So again the vote goes in favour of plain water. If however, you want to make it exciting for the kids, you can add a slice of lemon or a splash of fruit juice.

Milk

Milk contains calcium, phosphates and vitamin D that is required for the overall health of bones and also of the teeth and gums. Milk also has some amount of sugars on its own. So the best choice is a full fat, unsweetened, whole milk for your child. Since the major mineral of the teeth is calcium, giving your child two glasses of milk everyday supplies the body with the required amount of calcium. The combination of calcium and phosphorous encourages remineralization while the proteins found in milk, called caseins, create a protective layer that helps the enamel keep decay at bay. Milk also decreases the acid levels in plaque so it’s suggested that kids  drink milk after eating something with sugar. Finally, research indicates milk may aid in preventing periodontal disease. With so much goodness in one glass of milk, its the next best choice for your kids.

Milk alternatives like almond milk and soy milk

If your child is allergic to cow’s milk, then the alternative to cow’s milk is almond milk or soy milk. These alternative milks may not be as rich in nutrients as cow’s milk and hence you have to take care to give your child almond milk or soy milk that is fortified with calcium, vitamin A, B12 and D.

Yogurt drinks

Most drinkable yogurt products contain the same nutrients as found in cow’s milk, however, it is important to watch out for the sugar content in these drinks. It is important to give your child the organic variety since they are not heat treated after fermentation. You could also set the curds at home with full fat milk, and add some fruits for flavouring, which makes a great drink for your child and also supplies the required nutrients intact.

Fruit juice, tomato or vegetable juice

Although, fruit juice may seem be an easier way to get your child have something healthy, it’s better to give your child fresh fruits to eat instead. The whole fruit has its fibre, vitamins and nutrients intact. The chewing action also helps in the cleansing of the teeth and stimulates the jaw growth in the child. If however, you have to juice up the fruit, ensure that it has no added sugars.

Be careful in picking up the vegetable juice from the shelves. Some of these vegetable juices can contain more than half of a child’s daily recommended sodium allowance in one serving. Serve the veggies as a salad instead.

 

Drinks in moderation for your child

Lemonade

Either the homemade or store bought version of the lemonade has copious amounts of sugar or artificial sweetener in its preparation. Although lemonade is high in vitamin C, which is actually excellent for your dental health since it decreases inflammation and strengthens your gums and soft tissues, helping to prevent periodontal disease, it may not be the best beverage to offer your little one, especially when it comes to their dental health.

The acidity in the drink can be dangerous, as it erodes the teeth’s enamel leading to tooth decay. weakened enamel can cause sensitivity and discoloured teeth. The high sugars cause cavities. If you are making your own fresh squeezed fruit juice, be sure to include some pulp into it for the fibre. Also ensure to give your child some water to rinse well afterwards and wait till 30minutes before brushing the teeth with a fluoridated tooth paste.

Plain sparkling water

The carbon dioxide in sparkling water is converted to carbonic acid, which could erode the enamel. However, even with the carbon dioxide, sparkling water is not as acidic as the soda.the exact cause and effect of this drink on the health of the teeth is yet to be determined.

 

Worst drinks for your child

Energy drinks

These drinks have absolutely no nutritional value. In addition they contain large amounts of caffeine, sugar and other additives. In a study, energy drinks actually stripped away more tooth enamel than sports drinks. Both the sugar and sugar-free energy drinks have added citric acid, which eats away at the enamel and leaves teeth very susceptible to decay. The high amounts of caffeine causes serious health problems in your child. Its best to keep this drink away from your children.

Sports drink

These drinks are designed for athletes to give endurance an extra boost and to replenish the lost electrolytes through sweating. Kids activity levels never fall into this category. Most sports drinks have no nutritional value and contain empty calories from the added sugars, which contribute to obesity and cavities. They often contain artificial colours and flavours which are also not good for your child. These drinks also contain extra sodium, which your children do not require. If you want to refuel your child after a game you can try fruits, nuts some yogurt or a handful of berries.

Soda

Soft drinks have a high sugar content and additives like phosphoric acid, citric acid and sometimes maliec and tartaric acid. These acids are very aggressive on the enamel. These drinks remain on the teeth for longer and are not easily cleaned by the saliva. Its comes as no surprise that soda is one of the worst beverages for your child.

Diet soda

You may think that diet soda does not contain sweeteners or real sugar and so its safer. You are in for a surprise to know that diet soda is one of the worst drinks for your child’s teeth. It is corrosive and equally detrimental to tooth enamel as your regular soda. Watch out for this one as a part of your child’s diet.

coffee

Coffee is one of the big offenders as it stains teeth and also its acidity can wear down the enamel. The caffeine in coffee is also not good for your child as it can cause elevated heart rate and increased blood pressure.

Commercial fruit juices and juice cocktails

Store bought juices are high in sugars and highly acidic. This can be a major cavity causer in your child. Fruit Juice Cocktails can be very deceiving products.  Some of these products may contain no actual fruit juice at all. They are often filled with sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives – to increase their shelf-life, and use artificial flavours and colouring.

 

Ice tea

Despite tea containing antioxidants, it’s more like a dessert than a drink. The high sugar content feeds the bacteria that cause plaque and dries out the mouth. A dry mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay. A study found that canned iced tea dissolved enamel at a rate of 30 times more than coffee. So think well before you give your child this beverage.