Parents of young children have no problem finding tips for promoting oral health in their little ones. A lot of information about early oral development exists because it is during this initial stage of life that growth happens quickly and children need a lot of help caring for their health and wellness. Over time, as parents hand over the reins, older children have the opportunity to practice self-care. As you may suspect, they often stumble a few times along their journey to adulthood. Here, we want to discuss how one particular stumble can have a negative impact.
In a report by the Academy of General Dentistry, we see that the busy lifestyle led by the average teen can make it oh so easy to establish bad habits like drinking soft drinks and energy drinks. This active lifestyle also makes it easy for a teen to skimp on the time spent brushing and flossing her teeth. In combination, these two challenges pose a direct threat to healthy teeth and gums, not to mention fresh breath.
It isn’t hard to see that the sugar content in soda and other common beverages is a risk. However, according to the information from the Academy of General Dentistry, there is also a risk presented by the phosphoric acid that is often found in soda (and if it’s not phosphoric acid, it may be citric acid or another acidic ingredient!). That risk may affect teeth and also bones.
Just like growth occurs quickly during early childhood, it again peaks between the ages of 9 and 18. During these years, in particular, studies indicate tremendous bone development. When we see bone development, we also see tooth development. And what do bones need to become resilient against fractures? Calcium. Research states that when a teen drinks soda, her body will not absorb as much calcium as is necessary for healthy bones. In fact, one study discovered a direct link between the amount of soda teen girls consume and bone fractures.
The takeaway from various studies is that teens need continued support for healthy development. Part of this support can come from a good multivitamin containing calcium, and a portion can also come from routine dentistry that periodically evaluates the strength of enamel.