Fruit juice is thought of as a healthy way to give children the vitamins they need. Juice is packed with sugar and acids that can cause damage to your child’s teeth. Teaching a child good eating and drinking habits is important, so they do not expect to have juice all of the time. Choosing water over juice is best and saving juice for special occasions can help. At Art of Pediatric Dentistry, we are always giving our patients advice regarding how to take care of their teeth and mouth at a young age. Our staff is trained to give recommendations on diet and what foods to avoid in order to keep your child’s teeth cavity free.
How Does Juice Damage Teeth?
Juice contains high levels of sugar, and when your child drinks the juice the bacteria in the mouth creates an acid. This acid is what attacks the tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay and cavities. Visiting our office regularly with your child is important. Our exam process takes a look at your child’s teeth to ensure we do not see any issues with decay or any developing cavities.
Even though the sugar in juice is natural, it can still cause damage that can lead to tooth decay. In addition to the sugar, juice also contains natural acids that can wear down the enamel on our teeth. Talking to your child about making good food and drink choices can help avoid tooth decay from juice or other sugar filled foods and drinks.
What Juice Is Best?
If you choose to have juice there are differences in the brands and nutritional value. Juice cocktails tend to not be 100% juice, and can contain additional sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup. Mixed juices can contain added sugars, so it is important to read the labels carefully. Many fruit punch type drinks are labeled as juice, but they have no nutritional value and are packed with added sugars.
Finding 100% fruit juice is the best choice, but these can also be unhealthy and contain just as much sugar as a glass of soda. Orange and grapefruit juices tend to have lower amounts of sugar. Choosing whole fruits instead of juice is always the best choice because whole fruit provides additional nutrition such as fiber and other vitamins.