Following are five fun and affordable alternatives to sodas, sports beverages and energy drinks:
- Water - Economical and often fortified with cavity-fighting fluoride, calorie-free tap water is nature's number-one thirst quencher.
- Tea - Lightly sweetened with honey or stevia, chilled black, green and white teas are healthy alternatives to highly acidic canned iced teas. Sugar-free, fruit-flavored herbal teas are popular choices, too.
- Fruit Juice Fizzers - A splash of 100 percent fruit juice mixed with 12 ounces of seltzer or sparkling water is refreshing and virtually sugar-free. Fizzers are great way to make the transition from soda to healthy beverages.
- Sporty Half & Half's - A 50/50 mix of sport drink and water creates a tasty drink kids love. The best part? It dramatically cuts the enamel-destroying sugars and acids found in most sports drinks.
- Low-fat Milk - This old favorite is packed with bone-building, teeth-strengthening calcium. Most kids can't get enough of it.
Making the switch to healthier "kid-friendly" alternative beverages doesn't have to be a traumatic experience. Most parents find their children are perfectly happy drinking healthy beverages. The secret is to start them off on the right path while they're young. It's also important that parents be good role models who reinforce "oral healthy" lifestyle choices by avoiding sugary drinks whenever possible.
The ABCs of Good Oral Hygiene
Replacing sugary drinks with healthy beverages is a smart way to help your children avoid tooth decay. Just as important is teaching your kids about the basics of good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily and regular dental exams and cleanings are essential to a lifetime of good oral health.
Your children deserve the very best in dental healthcare. Instead of waiting for a dental problem to arise, plan ahead.