Preventing Early Cavities: The Problems With Juice

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Parents often think they have the best interest of their children in mind when giving them juice instead of soda or other sugary beverages. Unfortunately, juice is a common cause of cavities among children.

Juices Contain Lots of Sugar

You may not think that fruit juices contain a lot of sugar, but the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) states that 1 cup of unsweetened apple juice contains close to 24 grams of sugar and 1 cup of grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar. That is almost as much sugar that is in a 12 ounce can of Cola, which is 33 grams.

Juices Wear Enamel Away

Tooth enamel is more sensitive than most people think. Juices like apple juice and orange juice contain a high amount of acid. The acid reacts with the bacteria on your children's teeth and wears out the enamel. One way you can help dial back the damage juice causes is by giving your child a straw to drink the juice with. By using the straw, you limit the contact your child's teeth has with the juice.

Avoid Juice in a Sippy Cup

Giving juice in a sippy cup is one of the worst mistakes a parent can make for a child's teeth. If your child drinks out of a sippy cup, it is better to give him/her a sippy cup of juice with dinner then to have him/her sipping out of the cup all day. When they take a sip of juice, the acid can stay on their teeth for several minutes. So, each sip that they take throughout the afternoon, will just add up to bacteria sitting on their teeth for a longer period of time.

Moderation is Key

The big problem with juices is when a parent tries to give too much of it to their child. This is especially true for young kids because the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) states that kids should not have more than 8 ounces of juice a day.

As a parent, you want the best for your children. Cutting juice from your child's diet or limiting your child to 8 ounces of juice at meal time is the key to preventing your child from getting cavities early on in life. Just remember, you do not have to cut juice out of your child's life completely. You just have to start using straws, stop using sippy cups, and limit your child to 8 ounces a day. Contact a dental office, such as Pike Dentistry, for more information.