The Best & Worst Drinks for Your Teeth

Many new parents spend months preparing for big changes in their lifestyles, routines, and finances, but many are surprised at all of the small changes that impact their lives every day. One of these is how many options are out there for everything from car seats to baby food and how many small choices they’ll have to make every day. The professionals at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics can’t help with all of these, but they can certainly give their expertise on the choices that will set kids up for success when it comes to their smile.

Today is all about drink choices. As kids grow older and switch from breastmilk or formula to the myriad of beverage options out there, many parents find themselves trying to find the balance between keeping their kids healthy and letting them have some fun treats as well. The team at PDAO is here to help you weigh the options, gather all of the information, and make the best choices for your child.

Why Water Is the Best Answer

Water is the absolute best choice for your child for many reasons. First, it actually hydrates. Kids are on the move constantly, and water will keep them active in the healthiest way possible. Water is also completely sugar-free. Importantly, water also acts as a natural cleansing agent for kids’ mouths. It helps to wash away any sugar or bacteria left on their teeth from all of the snacks that kids like to have on-hand. A bonus tip from the dental professionals is to make sure your kids are occasionally getting tap water to drink for its added fluoride benefits.

Why Milk and Juice Are Fine in Moderation

As children graduate out of bottles and onto sippy cups and eventually to regular cups, parents often swap out that formula or breastmilk for cow/plant milk and juice. This is totally fine…in moderation. Milk and many fruit juices boast “no added sugar,” but the fact is that the natural sugar found in both of these is much higher than commonly expected. PDAO dentists recommend that milk be offered only at meals, as the food consumed and chewing activity helps to move that sugar off of kids’ teeth as they go.

Sodas, Sports Drinks, and More

When it comes to high-sugar drinks, there are a few things to be considered. 

Sodas are another of the drinks that are fine in moderation, but it’s best to keep an even stricter guard on those fizzy beverages than juice and milk. The dental team recommends that parents skip them all together or ask kids that a water limit is met before sodas are offered. 

Sports drinks are an additional beverage that is popular for kids as they grow and can be very beneficial for refueling electrolytes after sports or other physical activity. PDAO recommends reserving these for post-exercise only, and staying away from letting them become an all-day drink option. 

Lastly, energy drinks are high up on the list of beverages from which to stay away. In addition to the high sugar and caffeine content found in energy drinks, they are highly acidic and can do real damage on permanent teeth early in life. 

Overall, the team at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics wants to take some of the stress off of parents and easily give you the information you need to make an informed decision. The professionals measured out the sugar for each of these drinks so you don’t have to and they are listed below.

Bottle of Highland Whole Milk: 2 tbsp

Bottle of  Highland Strawberry Milk: 4 tbsp

Bottle of Highland Chocolate Milk: 5 tbsp

Capri-Sun Pouch: 1 tbsp

JuicyJuice Box: 2 tbsp

Bottle of Orange Gatorade: 2 tbsp

Can of Coca-Cola: 2 tbsp

Can of Monster Energy Drink: 5 tbsp

Can of Rockstar Energy Drink: 5 tbsp

Can of Red Bull: 5 tbsp

Find More Resources

For more educational videos and resources that can help keep your child’s smile happy and healthy, check out our YouTube Channel! Make sure you subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications when we drop our latest videos!