February 23, 2023
Fruit juice is a common drink for kids. Whether it’s apple, grape, or orange, these sweet beverages are popular and even provide some nutritional value for children. However, they can negatively affect their oral health. Your little one’s daily favorite juice may be dramatically increasing their risk of cavities. Read on to learn more about how juice affects your child’s teeth and what you can do to keep their grin healthy and happy.
The Link Between Fruit Juice & Oral Health
Whole fruit offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals that helps maintain optimal health. Oftentimes, this is attributed to fruit juice as well. While 100% fruit juice does give your child some essential nutrients, it is proven to be very high in sugar. In addition, many of the beverages on the market with the word “fruit” on the label—such as juice drinks, juice blends, or fruit punch–are packed with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Therefore, whether your child sips on the “pure” stuff or a less healthy version, the high levels of sugar can lead to cavities. Essentially, drinking juice is as if they were eating candy!
What Makes Fruit Juice Harmful to Children’s Smiles?
It’s common knowledge that sugar-laden treats, like cookies and soda, should be limited since they increase the chance of tooth decay. However, many dentists acknowledge the impact of juice on children’s risk of cavities is often overlooked. There are three big factors that cause this beverage to put your little one’s smile at risk:
- Sugar content: Unfortunately, the more juice your child drinks, the more sugar their teeth are exposed to, thus placing them at a higher risk of cavities.
- Acidic nature: Juice, especially citrus juice, is naturally very acidic. When your child’s enamel is continually in contact with acids, they wear some of it away. Since tooth enamel does not regrow, this leaves their teeth weakened and vulnerable to decay.
- Serving method: It’s common for children to slowly sip on juice (whether in a sippy cup, glass, or bottle) throughout the day. This means their pearly whites are continuously exposed to sugars and acids, which puts them at a higher risk of cavities than if they had finished their drink in one sitting.
Tips to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy
While fruit juice can be harmful to your child’s oral health, there are things you can do to minimize its effects of it and keep them safe from cavities. Keep these important tips from dental experts in mind:
- Dilute juice drinks with water to minimize the negative effects.
- Children over six should drink no more than 12 ounces of juice each day.
- Children under six shouldn’t drink more than six ounces of juice a day.
- Serve their juice with a straw to reduce contact with their teeth.
- Encourage your child to drink more tap water, which helps wash away sugars in the mouth and is typically fluoridated.
Knowledge is power! Knowing that juice can be potentially harmful to your little one’s smile, you can take proactive steps to keep their teeth whole and healthy.
About the Author
Midland Kid’s Dentist is eager to help children of all ages achieve healthy, happy, and strong smiles all year long! Whether your child is just a toddler, or you have a teenager, they offer a full range of services for every stage of their dental health. Their goal is to give personalized, expert care while your little one is comfortable. To schedule an appointment, contact them through their website or call (432) 520-5437.
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