From an early age, children are constantly being sent the message that drinking soda is a perfectly normal thing to do. So it comes as no surprise that when most children are thirsty they ask for their favorite carbonated soda drink instead of asking for water and milk, but before you hand over that glass or can of soda to your child you may want to take a moment to see what soda does to your child’s teeth.
The Dangers of Soda
Soda may seem like a harmless beverage, but it contains harmful ingredients that can cause a number of dental problems.
Damage is caused by soda because it introduces a lot of acid into your mouth. When your mouth has too much acid, it can erode the enamel that surrounds your tooth. If the enamel gets too damaged it can lead to severe pain, cavities, gum inflammation, tooth sensitivity, and eventual tooth loss.
Soda has artificial ingredients that make it very acidic. That combined with the natural acid your body creates when bacteria feeds off of sugar and each time you drink soda it can bring you one step closer to experiencing a number of dental problems.
Tips for How to Break the Soda Drinking Habit
After seeing what damage soda can do to your child’s teeth you may be wondering how you can break the habit. Breaking the soda-drinking habit won’t be easy, especially if your child drinks a lot of soda, but it can be done.
The following are some tips parents have found helpful when trying to get their child to stop drinking soda:
- Don’t expect kids to stop drinking soda overnight. If your child drank a lot of soda, they may have severe cravings for it. Be patient and don’t expect your child to instantly stop drinking soda, try to slowly wean them off of it.
- Dilute the soda with water. Adding water dramatically reduces both the acid and sugars in the soda. Diluting the soda is a great way to slowly wean your child off of soda. It gives them the slight sweetness they crave while encouraging the body to change so it no longer needs the super sugary drink.
- Lead by example. If you want your child to drink less soda make sure you do it too. Children will follow the lead of their parents. So make sure you are leading a good example by drinking healthier beverages.
- Offer alternative beverage options. When your child does want a drink consider giving them options for what to drink. Favored water and unsweetened tea are good options for alternative drinks.
- Offer natural sodas to your child. Natural sodas contain fewer artificial ingredients. They aren’t a perfect solution, but they will allow your child to enjoy an occasional soda every once in a while.
Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist
If your child has a history of drinking a lot of soda, and even if they don’t drink a lot of soda, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment for a routine exam from a pediatric dentist. During a routine exam the pediatric dentist will conduct a brief oral examination to see if there are any visible signs of tooth decay or damage to the teeth. If the pediatric dentist notices any problems, he or she will make treatment recommendations that will help improve your child’s oral health.
In addition to assessing your child’s oral health, a pediatric dentist can make sure you have all the information you need to keep your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth health. Pediatric dentists and their staff can teach you how to properly brush and floss your child’s teeth, provide additional tips on how to cut back on soda consumption, and even provide advice on how to cut back on eating sugary treats.
Parents who live in Central Florida can make an appointment at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. Our dental staff is dedicated to providing enthusiastic, compassionate dental care to children of all ages. Call us today to schedule an appointment at either of our two locations located throughout Central Florida.