How Fruit Juice on Can Damage your Child’s Teeth?

It is natural to think fruit juice is a healthy option for your toddler, infant or young child. But in fact, it can be quite damaging to those developing baby teeth.

The reason is fruit juice has high sugar content. Freshly squeezed juice without any additives has a load of sugar. Many brands will add more sugar and flavorings on top. So both natural juice and commercial juice can be bad for your child.

The sugar in juice mixes with bacteria in the mouth and creates acid. The acid breaks down the protective layer of the tooth enamel and cavities begin to form. 

We recommend babies under one year old aren’t given juice at all. After their first birthday, a little juice in moderation is acceptable. 

Moderation is key. Children who are drinking juice daily are very prone to tooth decay and cavities. If consumed several times a day, fruit juice can be worse than fizzy drinks. 

Apple and grape juice has the highest levels of sugar, followed by orange juice. Eating pieces of fresh fruit is much healthier than drinking juice because fiber and nutrients are consumed as well. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations say juice should not be introduced into the diet of infants before 12 months of age and that it should be given in limited amounts to children 1-18.

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Alternatives to fruit juice are milk or water. Another option is vegetable juice, which has a far lower sugar content than fruit juice. The best vegetables to make juice are dark green ones such as spinach and kale. Both are high in calcium, strengthening teeth and containing valuable vitamins that healthy kids thrive on.

When your little one drinks juice, try to clean their teeth afterward or rinse with water. Avoid giving juice at nighttime when the sugar can stay in the mouth for many hours. 

If possible, remove fruit juice from your child’s diet as much as possible. For babies, delay giving them juice for as long as possible. Once children taste juice, candy, or sweet treats they naturally grow to love and crave it. 

It can be easier for parents to delay the taste of sugar until they are older, so you are not always saying no. 

At Kakar Dental Group, We care about your children’s oral health. Feel free to reach out to one of our top pediatric dentist in Tyson, Falls Church and we are always willing to answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health. 

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