Fruit juices are popular drinks. Even babies and toddlers can be seen toting around bottles full of brightly colored juices. While juice can play a role in a healthy diet, it may not be the best option for sipping all day long. In fact, studies have shown that frequent juice consumption can actually damage your child’s teeth.
Juice is high in both sugar and acid. Sugar feeds the bacteria that are naturally present in your child’s mouth, and these bacteria create an acidic byproduct that attacks the enamel of the teeth. The acid that is naturally present in juices can also damage dental enamel. Children who drink multiple glasses of juice a day may be more prone to cavities as well as worn enamel and increased sensitivity.
You do not have to eliminate juice entirely from your child’s diet. Cut juice with water to reduce your child’s intake, and offer fresh fruit instead of juice. Fresh fruit contains fiber and nutrients that can improve tooth and gum health without the high sugar and acid levels that are often in juice. Encourage your child to rinse with water or drink water after drinking juice or eating fruit. If your child is too young to brush his or her teeth, wipe with a soft cloth or brush no sooner than half an hour after drinking juice. Older kids should also brush no earlier than 30 minutes after juice consumption.
Contact our Beverly Hills dentist today to learn more or to schedule your child’s next dental appointment.