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Teeth love choices

Children’s smiles are being affected by drinking liquid sugar, which can come in the form of pop, sports drinks, and beverages with added sugar.

These choices of sugar-laden beverages are some of the culprits of increased levels of decay in area children.

With tooth decay being the most common chronic disease affecting children, the choices in sugary drinks are affecting their health.

By letting decay take hold, a child’s speech development, self-esteem, and nutrition can suffer.

The alternatives to sugar-infused drinks are water, if possible with fluoride, and most importantly, milk.

The sugary drinks are a problem not only for what they contain, but what they push out of the diet, including vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

When a child has a sugary drink, it replaces the benefits of other more nutritious beverages.

Drinking one soft drink per day will accumulate to an astounding 30 pounds of sugar a year.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians drink an average of 111 litres of soft drinks annually—an increase of almost 100 percent since the 1970s.

Milk consumption, meanwhile, is on the decline.

Sugary drinks cause the bacteria in the mouth to combine with the sugar to form acid. This acid attacks the teeth.

Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes, and with each sip the attack starts over. These ongoing attacks weaken the teeth and eventually cause a cavity.

Fortunately, along with brushing and flossing, drinking milk and water is an easy way to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

April is Dental Health Month. The Northwestern Health Unit is waging a public awareness campaign for children and caregivers to re-think their drink by making better choices.

The “Teeth Love Choices” promotion is focusing on raising dental health awareness.

To learn more, drop by your local Northwestern Health Unit office or visit www.nwhu.on.ca

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