Juicing has recently become a popular beverage option for adults, but juice has always been a staple when it comes to the kids. Babies and toddlers seem to develop a taste for juice even before they have transitioned from the bottle to a cup. And, although fruit juice may be a healthy alternative to soda or other sugary drinks, it can also be one of the worst contributors to tooth decay—even in babies. Pediatric dentists in Charlotte will tell you that fruit juices are high in essential vitamins, and much better than other beverages, but most juices also contain high levels of the sugars and citric acids that can lead to cavities at an early age.
Natural sugars—like those found in fruit juices—can be worse than you think.
or example, a serving of apple juice may contain as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s roughly the same amount of sugar that is found in leading colas. Many parents and caregivers are shocked to learn that grape juice can contain even more sugar, nearly 15 teaspoons per serving! In addition to the sugar content, the citric acid that fruit juice contains can erode the surface of the enamel, virtually eating away at the protective coating of healthy teeth.
Enjoy juice in moderation…and drink plenty of water.
Fruit juice isn’t necessarily bad when it is consumed in moderation—especially for children. Unfortunately, many children are allowed to consume too much juice, and few children are reminded to brush and floss afterwards. Young children are especially at risk for cavities when juice is provided too frequently throughout the day. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that children drink no more than 6-8 ounces of fruit juice each day. For added protection, limiting your child’s juice consumption to once a day, ideally with a meal, is recommended. Drinking juice throughout during the day, especially in a sippy cup or a bottle, increases the risk of tooth decay even further.
The juice-lover in the family may find that two servings of watered down juice can help to satisfy a craving while decreasing the sugar and citric acid attacks. For more information and advice on preventing cavities in babies and small children, reach out to a pediatric dentist in Charlotte today.