When it comes to what your child should drink, we recommend that you stick to water and milk.
Juice: Many children like juice. However, it is better to eat real fruit as opposed to juice for fiber and more nutrition. For lunch, try not to pack juice boxes. They are convenient and sweet, but have no nutrition and are high in sugar. Start diluting juice until your child gets used to “juice flavoured” water. Flavoured unsweetened water can be a good alternative.
Yogurt drinks: Yogurt based drinks and yogurt tubes are sweet and acidic. Yogurt drinks are probiotic and good for your child’s digestive system, but they are not very good for teeth. Pick natural yogurt instead of yogurt-based drinks and yogurt tubes. If you are giving it to your child, limit it to mealtime.
Pop and Energy Drinks: We all know pop is not good for children. What is even worse is energy drinks. They can dissolve teeth about 6 times faster than cola does. This is because not only they are sweet, but also very acidic.
Milk: Milk is high in calcium and we want children to drink milk. It has milk sugar called lactose, which can still cause cavities. Therefore, having milk at mealtime is better than at nighttime or for a snack.
We still want your child to have a treat on special occasions like birthday parties and holidays. After having a drink high in sugar and acidity, give your child a glass of water to drink and rinse teeth.
Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving South Surrey, White Rock, Langley and Aldergrove in Beautiful British Columbia.