Keeping your child active is essential for their overall health. Many parents turn to sports drinks as a way to make sure their child stays hydrated during exercise and activity. However, these drinks can lead to a range of negative consequences for children's oral health, including cavities at their next visit to the dentist. Here's a guide to help you better understand how sports drinks can affect your child and how to consume them safely.

How Can Sports Drinks Damage Children's Oral Health?


While sports drinks can help your child stay hydrated, they often contain large amounts of sugar with little nutritional value. The acids in their dyes combined with the high levels of sugar can weaken your child's tooth enamel over time and lead to cavities and tooth decay. Regular consumption can also start to stain their teeth and make them more sensitive since they have lost some of their protective coating.

To avoid these problems, it's recommended to give your child water during practices or sports games. Water will keep your child hydrated without any harmful effects on their oral health. If you'd like to provide more flavorful options, consider water and a healthy snack or even coconut water. This is a great alternative for rehydrating without added sugars or artificial flavors. 

How Can Your Child Enjoy Sports Drinks Safely?

While water is the best option to keep your child hydrated during physical activity, they can still enjoy sports drinks in moderation. However, it’s a good idea to set healthy boundaries to avoid damaging their teeth. For example, since the acids in sports drinks can soften the enamel, remind your child not to brush their teeth right away after drinking one. Brushing immediately can further wear down the softened enamel before it has time to harden again. Instead, have your child rinse out their mouth with water after drinking a sports drink to remove some of the sugars and acids from their teeth. You can also set limits on how often your child can have a sports drink, such as once a week or only during games.


To learn more tips about protecting your child's oral health, contact the team at Carolyn B. Crowell, DMD, & Associates. Their dentists have served young patients in Avon, OH, for over 20 years, providing dental cleanings and orthodontic treatments to protect their patients' smiles. Visit their website to learn more about their services and expertise, or call (440) 934-0149 to schedule a dentist appointment.