As a parent, you try to do everything you can to help your child stay healthy. From eating a balanced diet and brushing their teeth twice a day to getting enough sunshine and exercise, there’s a lot to keep up with. But your pediatric dentist in Brighton wants you to know something important: those sports drinks your child is using to stay hydrated all summer could be worse on their teeth than soda.
Do Sports Drinks Cause Cavities?
Most of us think “healthy” when we see sports drinks. The surprising news is that a lot of sports drinks are some of the worst beverages for teeth. They’re even harsher on your tooth enamel than soda, diet soda, juice, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of elite and professional athletes suffer from dental decay simply because of what they’re putting into their bodies to stay hydrated: such as sports drinks.
Risk Factors of Pediatric Tooth Decay
Drinking a sports drink every now and then—like when it’s especially hot and your child needs electrolytes—isn’t going to be a deal-breaker. But liquids that contain high amounts of sugar such as sports drinks, juices, etc., and the frequency in which they’re consumed, do play a key role in your child’s cavity risk.
For example, if your child is drinking a sports drink 3x a week at practice and then 1-2 of them on the weekend while they’re at a game, they’re at a fairly high risk of dental side-effects from all of that sugar. But if you’re encouraging your child to hydrate with water and they’re only drinking a sports drink on the really hot days or extra-long workouts, the risk isn’t as severe.
Screening for Cavities in Children
Not all cavities hurt. If your child is developing tooth decay, you may never see the signs until the cavity is extremely large. Most liquid-induced cavities tend to start between the teeth or just below the chewing surfaces, at the narrowest points of those deep grooves.
Routine dental exams and periodic digital X-rays will help us screen for tooth decay in its earliest stages. If a cavity is noted, our pediatric dentist in Brighton will discuss which steps to take next. In most situations, it will be a small filling. Otherwise, we might recommend fluoride dental treatments for kids who are on the cusp of needing treatment, but the demineralization is still early.
Kids Tooth Decay Treatments in Brighton
The first treatment for tooth decay is prevention. Drinking plenty of water and scheduling fluoride dental treatments for kids twice a year is most important. But if your child drinks a lot of sports drinks, they may still need a dental filling.
Pediatric dental fillings are small and minimally invasive in most cases. They can comfortably be completed without any sedation, but that’s always available should your child need it.
Unfortunately, tooth decay that isn’t intercepted early enough can spread into the nerve of the tooth, causing an abscess. At that point, the only way to eliminate pain and preserve the tooth is to perform a pulpotomy and crown. If you have any questions about this unique treatment, we’ll be happy to answer them for you.
Looking for a pediatric dentist in Brighton? Contact Kids City Dental to reserve a checkup for your child. We love seeing kids of all ages and backgrounds and are committed to helping your child experience gentle dentistry in a positive light.
Even if you didn’t know about the dangers of sports drinks until now, that’s ok. Our preventative services and fluoride dental treatments for kids can help you get things back on the right track for your family.
Call Kids City Dental today to make an appointment.