A lot of companies will advertise drinks as “sugar free”, “low sugar”, “organic”, “natural” or “healthy”. Try and avoid falling into these marketing traps, as these drinks are often full of hidden sugars. All drinks that taste sweet will have some form of sugar in them. There are many kinds of sugars out there, and some are more cariogenic to teeth, and more likely to cause decay than others. Here are some ingredients that you should watch out for on the labels when buying drinks and avoid consuming these frequently:
- Glucose syrup
- Concentrated fruit juice
- Inverted sugar
- Hydrolysed starches
- Water is the best drink to give your child between meals. Full fat cow’s milk can also be given to children 1-2 years, and semi skimmed from 2 years upwards inbetween meals too.
- Introduce a free flow cup from 6 months – Try and phase out the use of bottles after 12 months and encourage them to use free flow sipping cups, as the sucking action can indirectly encourage speech problems in the future. Bottles are more likely to encourage dental decay, as the fluid tends to stay in their mouth for longer than sipping cups.
- Be aware of the non-dairy free milk substitutes, they can often contain alot more cariogenic sugars compared to cows milk, even the unsweetened ones!
Drinks that should not be drank frequently or avoided
- Fizzy drinks
- Flavoured water
- Fruit juices
These drinks all contain various amounts of sugar. Some are worse than others, but if drank frequently they all have the potential to cause decay. Try and establish a good routine with your child from a young age and stick to it, this will encourage them to maintain a healthy routine for life.