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Is Juice Bad For My Child's Teeth?

kids dentist murray utah

Kids Dentist, Dr. Ari Hobfoll

Is Juice Really bad for my child's teeth? Yes.

Kids enjoy juice because it tastes fantastic, and parents love that their children drink juice since we are told that it is beneficial for them! After all, fruits are high in vitamins and nutrients that your youngster requires for their overall health. 

While this is true, allowing your child to drink too much fruit juice or juice that really doesn’t have any actual fruit in it may cause more harm than benefit. 

Today on the blog, our pediatric dentist in Murray Utah answers the question, “Is juice really bad for my child’s teeth?”

Isn't Fruit Juice Good for You?

The fact that juice is derived from fruit does not imply that it is nutritious. In reality, this delightful beverage may have a lot less nutritional value than you think! Many fruit juices such as mixed fruit juice blends, fruit juice cocktails, fruit juice drinks, and fruit punch typically include only trace amounts of juice. 

Instead, our pediatric dentist in Salt Lake City explains that these beverages are loaded with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup.

Even beverages made entirely of fruit juice may contain far more sugar than you believe. This is because the majority of popular fruits are high in natural sugar. A glass of apple, grape, or cranberry juice contains just as much sugar as a glass of soda!

3 Consequences of Drinking Juice

Did you know that the most frequent childhood ailment is cavities? While various things can contribute to children having a higher risk of tooth decay, many dentists suggest that juice drinking plays a significant influence. 

Our friend Dr. Helgerson, who is a dentist in Grand Junction Co, shares that three characteristics make fruit juice such a bad drink for growing teeth:

Sugar Content: As you might expect, the more sugar drinks your child consumes, the more likely they are to develop cavities.

Nature of Acidity: Citrus juices in particular, such as orange juice, are highly acidic. These acids can dissolve tooth enamel, leaving the teeth fragile, sensitive, and susceptible to decay.

Method of Serving: The more juice your child drinks during the day, the more sugars accumulate around their teeth and gums, encouraging tooth decay and gum disease.

What to Drink in Its Place

While the amount of sugar in beverages targeted toward children may appear overwhelming at first, there is no need to panic! Dr. Hobfoll, the best pediatric dentist in SLC, explains that there are still plenty of tasty drinks your child will like, as well as several techniques to make drinking fruit juice safer for their teeth.

You should make sure children under the age of six are drinking juice no more than 6 ounces per day, and children over the age of six glass no more than 12 ounces of fruit juices per day (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).

Some ways to make juice healthier for your children’s teeth and overall:

  • To minimize the impact of the fruit juice, drink in one sitting and avoid it in a sippy cup or bottle which will extend the acid attack on the teeth.
  • Make smoothies with whole fruits at home so your child gets the benefit of vitamins and fiber.

What to give your child to drink instead of juice:

  • Drink more milk at meal times, particularly low-sugar varieties such as almond, soy, rice, or whole milk, 2 % or non-fat is also okay for meal times.
  • Drink more tap water, which is both healthy and often contains the vital mineral fluoride, which can help your child’s teeth stay strong! If your little one is walking around with a bottle or sippy cup, water is the best option.

How To Prevent Cavities

Minimizing sugary drinks is a great place to start when it comes to preventing cavities. When your child consumes fruit juices, we recommend encouraging them to drink or rinse their mouth with some water.

Having a healthy diet is also very important for preventing cavities. Good food such as whole fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins that will not only help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy but will help their overall development.

What to Do if Your Child has a Cavity

If you suspect your child has a cavity or any other oral health issues, it is important to take them to a dentist. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Salt Lake City, reach out to us at Kaleidoscope Kids Dentistry! Our entire team is dedicated to making sure your child receives the best dental care possible. We also provide dental education to make sure your little one knows how to properly care for their teeth and how to prevent getting cavities in the future.

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