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How to keep your Kids Hydrated this Summer without Sports Drinks

Lake Forest, Lake Bluff IL

Summertime means lots of outdoor play, whether you’re having fun poolside or engaging in sports. Whatever you do this summer, you’re going to sweat, and so will your kids. Sports drinks have long since been marketed as a safe and healthy way to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. While adults and children alike typically prefer flavorful beverages, sports drinks aren’t as healthy as they seem. Today on the blog, our Lake Forest family dentists share why you should avoid sports drinks and ways to keep your kids hydrated this summer with healthier alternatives.

Why are sports drinks bad for you?

Sports drinks come loaded with sugar and are highly acidic, two things that can totally wreck your teeth! Even the sugar-free varieties still have a lot of acidity, which erodes dental enamel, causes teeth to become sensitive and more subject to staining, as well as increase the risk of cavities.

How to tell if your beverage has a safe pH level

Whether you’re comparing labels for popular sports drinks or reach for another flavored beverage marketed as healthy, you should know how pH affects your oral health and what to look for on the packaging.

Acid levels are measured using a pH scale from 1-14, with one being highly acidic to 14 as almost no acid at all. Water ranks in the middle between 6.5-8.5, and milk has a pH of about 7. Just for perspective, sodas are highly acidic and rank about 2.5-3.6 in pH, which makes these beverages dangerous for your teeth. Even seltzer water is only slightly better, with a pH of 3-4. So, what if your kids want something other than water to stay hydrated?

Ways to enjoy refreshing beverages while protecting your teeth

While most people don’t have a problem drinking water every day, your tastebuds occasionally get in the mood for something different, especially on a hot summer day.

When it comes to sports drinks and fruit juices, we aren’t saying you should never drink them, but do so in moderation and keep these tips in mind.

  • Consider diluting the beverage to lower the sugar and acid levels in each serving.
  • Drink the beverage through a straw to minimize it touching your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after you drink anything flavorful or highly acidic.
  • Sip on water throughout the day and between meals, limiting sugary or acidic beverages to mealtimes only.

Summer means it’s hot, and you need to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes as needed. Other ways to fuel your body are to eat fresh orange slices, bananas, or other juicy fruits. You might also consider drinking coconut water to hydrate your body and excite your taste buds. No matter which food or beverage you reach for or offer your kids, always brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to maintain excellent oral health.

Family Dentists in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

Our Lake Forest dentists are here to serve you and your family’s oral health care needs. To learn more ways to protect your teeth and gums or to schedule an appointment, please call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800.

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