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Sports drinks and childrens dental health

  • A blog looking at children’s consumption of sports drinks and the impact upon their dental health.

    By Samantha Swaby

A study [1] carried out by researchers at Cardiff University has found that that there are high levels of consumption of sports drinks in teenagers. One hundred and sixty young teenagers completed a questionnaire which found that almost 90% had consumed sports drinks, with half consuming the drinks at least twice a week. Many of the teenagers were unaware of the high-sugar content.

The research

The objective by the researchers was to investigate the use of sports drinks by children. In order to do this, one hundred and eighty-three self-complete questionnaires were distributed to four schools in South Wales. Questions focused on use of sports drinks, type consumed, frequency of and reason for consumption and where drinks were purchased. The report has been published in the British Dental Journal.


One hundred and sixty children responded and claimed to drink sports drinks, half drinking them at least twice a week. Lucozade Sport was the most popular brand. The main reason for consuming the drinks was attributed to the ‘nice taste’.

Most respondents purchased the drinks from local shops or supermarkets. More boys claimed to drink sports drinks during physical activity. Whereas more girls claimed to drink them socially.

Dental decay

If children are drinking high sugar sports drinks then this will impact upon their dental health. If children are not following a good dental hygiene regime, then dental decay may arise. If tooth decay is not treated this can lead to the following problems:

– Toothache

– Swelling in the gums near a painful tooth

– Abscesses

– Bad breath

– Extraction of teeth

Preventing tooth decay

In order to prevent tooth decay, people should ensure that they brush their teeth regularly and have a healthy diet and attend the dentist.

When attending the dentist people should also discuss with the dentist any problems they have experienced with their teeth or gums, since their last visit. If you are consuming high sugar drinks, then it is best to drink these in moderation.

[1] A survey of sports drinks consumption among adolescents, D. Broughton, R. M. Fairchild & M. Z. Morgan

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