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Healthy Drink Alternatives to Soda for Your Kids

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Kids tend to LOVE sweet carbonated drinks, but unfortunately, their teeth are not such big fans. Soda can cause bacteria to flourish in your child's mouth, leading to tooth decay. But don't worry, we're not here to ruin a good time – we have some great soda alternatives for better oral hygiene that your whole family can enjoy.

How Does Soda Affect Teeth?

If your kids drink soda, every time they sip it from a can or gulp from a big plastic cup; they're putting themselves at greater risk of getting cavities. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, which produces tooth enamel-attacking acid. Over time, these soda empowered acid attacks on your kid's teeth will lead to cavities.

What Are the Best Drinks for Children's Teeth?

  • WATER - Water is the best beverage for teeth. And drinking tap water is a bonus for your child because it has fluoride and can help prevent cavities. If your local tap water is subpar, most bottled water has fluoride, too. Whereas other beverages can cause bacteria to flourish, water will clean your child's mouth with every sip.
  • MILK - Milk is another healthy drink for kids' teeth. Dairy products can get saliva flowing, and the calcium and phosphates can help put minerals back on your child's teeth that have been taken away by other foods.

    Learn more about how milk can benefit your oral health.

  • TEA - You'll want to avoid giving your child sugary iced teas because they can facilitate tooth decay, but unsweetened tea can be a tooth-friendly drink. The University of Rochester Medical Center states there are polyphenols in tea that help fight bacteria. Use fluoridated water to brew the tea, and it'll be even better.

Is Fruit Juice a Healthy Drink for Kids' Teeth?

Unfortunately, juice isn't as good for your child's oral health as you may think. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you don't give any juice to babies at all before they are one year old. And they suggest that you only allow them to drink minimal amounts as they get older because of the high amounts of sugar that can lead to tooth decay and other health issues.

Practicing good oral hygiene will be easiest for your children if you start helping them to build good habits as early as possible. In addition to brushing twice a day, using antibacterial mouthrinses, and using water flossers (when age-appropriate), being conscientious of how different foods and beverages affect their oral health is essential, too. The fact that you're here doing the research means you're committed to setting an excellent example for your little ones. And that's something that should make the whole family smile.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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