1-800-DENTIST Warns Sugary Drinks Aren’t As Sweet As You Think

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According to the U.S. Surgeon General, Tooth Decay is the Nation's #1 Chronic Childhood Disease. Discover Five Healthy Beverages Kids Love to Help Fight Cavities.

There are better choices than soft drinks when it comes to protecting kid’s teeth.

School-aged children in the United States are facing an epidemic of tooth decay. The problem is so bad that the U.S. Surgeon General now recognizes tooth decay as the nation’s number one chronic childhood disease. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report indicates that a big part of this problem is young America’s unquenchable thirst for highly acidic, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, including sodas, sports beverages and energy drinks.

1-800-DENTIST®, the nation’s number-one free dental referral service, today announced a new tool in the fight against cavity-causing soft drinks. The LA-based company is providing parents with a list of fun and affordable “kid-friendly” alternatives to the sugary beverages that are doing all the dental damage. Developed specifically to appeal to children, 1-800-DENTIST’s list offers busy parents healthy, easy-to-pack options for brown bag lunches and after-school snacks.

1. Water - Always economical and typically fortified with cavity-fighting fluoride, calorie-free, sugar-free tap water is nature’s number-one thirst quencher.
2. Fruit Juice Fizzers - A splash of 100 percent fruit juice mixed with 12 ounces of seltzer or sparkling water is refreshing and economical. Fizzers are a great way to make the transition from soda to healthier beverages.
3. Sporty Half & Half’s - A 50/50 mix of sport drink and water creates a tasty lite drink kids love. The best part? It dramatically reduces the enamel-destroying sugars and acids found in most sports drinks.
4. Tea - Lightly sweetened with honey or stevia, chilled black, green and white teas are a healthy alternative to canned iced teas. Sugar-free, fruit-flavored herbal teas are popular choices, too.
5. Low-fat Milk - This old-school favorite is packed with bone-building, teeth-strengthening calcium.

“Helping improve the oral health of America’s children has been part of our mission from the very beginning,” says Fred Joyal, the founder of 1-800-DENTIST®. “Getting the word out to parents that there are better choices than soft drinks when it comes to protecting their kid’s teeth is just one of the ways we’re doing it.”

“It’s no coincidence that school-age children have significantly more cavities than preschoolers and adults,” says Dr. Bill Dorfman. “USDA studies show that their consumption of sugary drinks goes through the roof between the ages of 6 and 20. Over time, the highly acidic nature of these sodas and sports energy beverages can permanently damage a child’s teeth.”

Parents can do a lot to break the link between sugary drinks and tooth decay. The smart choice -- switching to healthier alternative beverages -- doesn’t have to be traumatic. Most children are perfectly happy drinking healthier choices. The secret is to start them off on the right path while they’re young. It’s important that parents act as good role models who reinforce “oral healthy” lifestyle choices with their own beverage selection.

For more practical tips on protecting children from cavities related to sugary soft drinks or for help finding a dentist near you, visit: http://www.1800dentist.com/sugary-drinks/.

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Nick Armstrong
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