If you’re a parent of young children, or even teens, you know how challenging it can be to keep a close eye on what they eat and drink during the school year.

Packing their lunch and snacks instead of relying on school lunch served in the cafeteria is one way to help protect their teeth and gums throughout the year.

Today, our team at Butte Family Dental is helping you know what kind of drinks are best left out of the lunchbox, and even your kitchen, for that matter!

Drinks To Keep Out Of Your Child’s Lunchbox For School

Here are a few common drinks that you don’t want to include in your child’s school lunchbox if you want to keep their healthy smile intact.

*Fruit Juice*

It’s understandable why parents would assume fruit juice is a healthy beverage alternative, but even those that promise to be natural and healthy have tons of added hidden sugars in them. Fruit juices are also highly acidic, which leads to erosion of your tooth enamel and leaves your mouth vulnerable to damage and bacterial infection.

*Flavored Coffee Drinks & Bottled Tea*

Middle and high school kids are probably more likely to fall into this trap, especially if any of them drive themselves to school or ride with friends and older siblings. They can make a pit stop on the way to school and grab one of those cold bottled coffee drinks or sweetened iced teas that come in a variety of flavors.

Not only will the heavy sugar content lead to a midday energy crash, but it also contributes to tooth decay, cavities, and other dental problems that impact their smiles and health.

*Sports & Energy Drinks*

You might think that sports drinks are necessary to fuel your active child, but they are loaded with sugar. That’s not the kind of fuel anyone needs, especially if you want to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

Another tip parents and teachers alike can appreciate is to avoid energy drinks. We know they tend to be catered to kids with their commercials and bright packaging, but energy drinks are high in caffeine, sugar, and acids. Sure, it gives you a boost of energy in the short-term, but that’s followed by a hard crash soon after, which isn’t good for kids who need to maintain more consistent energy during school hours. Your child’s energy is best maintained with healthy, nutritional foods and snacks.

*Soft Drinks*

In the last decade, health initiatives at the federal level have led to an overhaul of school vending machines. They’re still found in most public schools, but you’re not likely to find regular soft drinks in any of them. Most will include bottled water, which is best for your teeth, as well as diet sodas, which aren’t.

That’s because, even though they don’t contain sugar, diet soft drinks are just as acidic as regular ones, which as we’ve already said, will eat away at tooth enamel and weaken your child’s teeth.

Schedule An Appointment

You can’t be with your kids everywhere, especially when a new school year begins and they’re spending more time away from home. The best way to keep your child’s smile healthy is to give them the tools to make good decisions on their own.

Of course, you have our team at Butte Family Dental, too! We’ll make sure their routine dental cleanings and exams are thorough and that any dental problems they face are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Call our Butte, MT dental office today at 406-565-4458 or fill out our convenient online form to schedule their back-to-school checkup!