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Sugar, Juice, and Soda. Oh My!

Posted on 9/21/2020 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
Sugar, Juice, and Soda. Oh My!Sugar is everywhere in this world. Advertisements for sugary foods and drinks are equally prevalent with many (if not most) of them targeting children. These sweet substances can wreak havoc on young mouths plus lead to various other health problems. Here are some tips on how to limit unhealthy drinks and explain to children why they are bad for them.

A Balancing Act

Finding healthy, sugar-free beverages young ones actually enjoy can be a difficult feat. Milk is great for kids, and plain milk is unsweetened. Even if your child cannot consume dairy, there is a wide array of plant-based milks available to try. While drinking plenty of water is essential for health, even adults will admit that water can get a little boring. Instead of perking up that H2O with a sugary drink mix or something with artificial sweetener, mix in pieces of real fruit to add flavor. An added bonus is that your child gets the benefits of the fruit. To save time, make this fruit water in advance or keep (naturally) flavored water on hand.

Teas flavored with other natural ingredients like mint, orange peel, or spices is another excellent option. Just be sure the tea is decaffeinated and serve it up both hot and cold to see what your child prefers. While iced tea is very refreshing on a warm day hot tea is a great substitute for sugary hot chocolate when the weather cools off.

Discussing Tooth Decay

If your child asks why he/she can't have the beverage they see on TV or other kids drinking, talk to them about tooth decay. Be gentle and honest at the same time as you probably don't want to scare your little one. Make up a silly (but accurate) story about sugar and teeth or see if a you can find a video to watch together. Making healthy fun can go a long way in fighting the never-ending battle between kids and sugar. Contact us today to find out more tips.

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Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here!
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