Any parents who are worried about their children consuming energy drinks should continue reading this alert from our family dentist office. Very often, parents will ask us questions about their children's oral health and some habits that they are concerned may be posing a danger to them.
What you need to know about energy drinks
For example, parents often ask us about how frequently their children should consume soda or energy drinks. This is because energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular and many adolescents are using them as a way to gain enough energy to study, play sports or simply because they enjoy them.
Regardless of their motivation for doing so, drinking an energy drink is dangerous to their health and particularly to their teeth. With that in mind, here are a few things to be aware of.
Side effects of drinking energy drinks
There have been cases of adolescents dying after consuming multiple energy drinks. Fortunately, this extreme reaction is rare, however, there are other side effects that are also incredibly dangerous. They include:
- Suffering from high blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping and constant insomnia
- Severe weight gain
- Potential kidney damage
- Increased risk for diabetes
- Mental health problems
- Tooth decay
- Dental enamel erosion
It is important to note that there are three main planes of development – cognitive, emotional and physical. All three work together so, in a growing adolescent, it makes sense that an energy drink could make it difficult for an adolescent to sleep which could also contribute to mental health problems, for example. We know that getting enough sleep is directly related to a person's physical and emotional health.
Keep a child healthy
Likewise, it makes sense that the high sugar content in energy drinks would increase a person's risk for diabetes and simultaneously lead to weight gain. Understanding that the risks are not isolated and that if an adolescent suffers from one side effect they are likely to suffer from more. It is important for parents to be on the lookout for warning signs and symptoms.
From the perspective of a family dentist, we also want parents to be aware of the true risk to their children's teeth. These dangers are often more difficult to see unless you are a dentist. However, we know that the high acidic content in energy drinks is likely to lead to dental enamel erosion. This makes it more likely for anyone who consumes them to suffer from dental decay, infections and sensitive teeth.
In our dental office, we may make note of this during a routine cleaning appointment. However, it is in the best interest of our patients to prevent this problem by eliminating exposure to energy drinks in the first place. After all, once the enamel is gone, it cannot be replaced.
We are not the only one spreading this warning
Dental professionals, medical doctors and academics are warning of the dangers associated with consuming energy drinks. For example, an assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard has advised people to skip energy drinks completely.
The American Heart Association recommends that people only consume 36 grams of sugar a day. Energy drinks usually contain around 54 grams of sugar so without them speaking of energy drinks specifically, it is clear that the American Heart Association would also advise not consuming them.
We care about your family's health
In our family dentist office, we like to share these important warnings because we care about the health of our patients. We are here to provide assistance and to ensure that our patients have the ability to remain as healthy as possible.
Continue to read our blog for more information and useful tips that your family can use. Also, remember to schedule a regular dental examination and cleaning so that we can do our part to keep your family's teeth and gums healthy.
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