Once that alarm starts going off in the morning, teens are on a jam-packed schedule, shuffling through classes, extracurricular activities, and sometimes even part-time jobs. In order to keep up with the pace, teens often make a grab for quick meals in form of carbonated beverages and “nutrition bars” to keep them on edge and alert for all of their obligations; however, this kind of lifestyle may leave teens with permanent damage to oral and overall health.
In a 2003 issue of General Dentistry, studies have shown that teens that constantly indulge in sugary drinks can result in premature loss of tooth enamel and the weakening of overall tooth structure. While research has deemed carbonated beverages and energy drinks detrimental for oral health, these sugary drinks can also affect overall bone growth in teens. Read more here. Adolescence is the known time period of optimal bone growth, when more nutrient-packed calories are necessary to fuel growing bodies and to strengthen teeth and bones. These calories tend to be counteracted when teens continue to take in high-carbohydrate foods, which are instead replacing healthy foods such as milk, vegetables, and fruits.
Reports have shown that these beverages are the main causes of increases cavities and obesity in teens today. Unfortunately, researchers expect obesity to remain a major issue as more pre-school-aged children continue to become more addicted to caffeine and sugar. The various acids found in sodas and energy drinks breakdown tooth enamel around cavity sealants and previously done restorations, which leads to more necessary dental treatment to prevent tooth loss.
Phosphoric acid in many carbonated drinks limits calcium absorption, influencing body density. By age 16, girls have acquired 90-96% of their bone mass, making adequate calcium intake extremely important. However, national statistics indicate that only 19% of girls ages 9-19 are receiving the recommended 1,3000 mg of calcium per day. The lack of calcium intake indubitably affects bone structure of the mouth, which can lead to complications such as periodontal bone loss.
While it is important for teens to work hard and strive to do their best, it is just as essential for them to watch what they consume and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have more questions, be sure to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.