Few things are more enjoyable for kids than a day filled with outside play during the summer months. Their carefree nature often leads them on exciting adventures, both real and imagined.
However, it can also be this same carefree nature that distracts them from the importance of hydration. Children are more likely to become dehydrated due to the smaller size of their bodies, which hold smaller reserves of water. Some common symptoms that your son or daughter may be dehydrated include:
Dry tongue and lips
Deep, rapid breathing
Although there are many products on the market that claim to keep kids properly fuelled, a lot of them are filled with sugars, dyes and other ingredients that can wreak havoc on the teeth. There is, however, one dentist-recommended drink that will keep your child safely hydrated and happy: water.
Water will always be the number one choice on any pediatric dentist's list of recommended drinks for children. In its purest form, water does not possess any synthetic fillers or flavor additives. These ingredients may enhance the taste but can also cause cavities and erode enamel.
Water is the best hydration solution for people of all ages because of the work it does to support overall health:
It aids the brain, which is composed of almost 75% water, with hormone production
It keeps the body's joints functioning properly by providing them with lubrication
It helps with the production of sweat, which keeps the body temperature regulated
It assists in the body's removal of waste
Encouraging your child to stay hydrated with water is also important for oral health. Water can rinse away excess plaque and food that accumulates on teeth. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking fluoridated water promotes strong teeth and cavity reduction.
The plethora of fruit juices and sports energy drinks that gear their fun flavors and catchy advertising toward kids are often filled with large quantities of sugars and acidic properties. Regular consumption of such ingredients can lead to some serious oral health issues like tooth decay and enamel erosion.
On occasion, however, these products can be enjoyed in moderation. Children should just be careful after drinking to brush or rinse away the sugars that cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth tend to feast upon.
Not many kids think about replenishing their electrolytes after they have been playing hard, but this is an important part of the hydration process. Low levels of electrolytes can be detected by muscle cramping, dizziness and mental confusion. Raising the levels will prevent these symptoms and keep the body energized and the heart properly pumping.
Some companies produce sugar-free drink additives that help to restore electrolytes. These packets can add flavor to your child's water and serve as healthier alternatives to the bottled versions of fruit juices and sports energy drinks.
When you visit us at the Pediatric Dental Group, we want to offer you more than just the dental services your child is here to receive. We also want to extend an invitation for you to ask any questions you have about dental hygiene and tooth development. Our staff encourages you and your family to engage in conversations about important issues like what should your child drink and what impact different products can have on hydration and overall health.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our team of professionals. At the Pediatric Dental Group, your child's oral health is always our top priority.