Most kids love juice, and what mom hasn’t found a cup of juice to be a lifesaver when trying to comfort a child after a fall or help settle a grumpy kiddo after naptime? We’re all for “magical” solutions in a sippy cup. Unfortunately, juice isn’t particularly teeth-friendly, so today we’re going to talk about how to protect your children’s teeth from decay caused by fruit juice.
Although fruit juice is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and other great health-boosters, juice is also full of sugar and acids, which are really tough on the enamel. Even 100% juices (as opposed to fruit “drinks” that often contain added sugars and little actual juice content) are loaded with natural sugars that feed acid-producing bacteria in the mouth and weaken enamel. In fact, some sources suggest that juices are as dangerous to teeth as sodas are!
We don’t want to be all Johnny Raincloud on you, though, and honestly, as long as your kid is developing good cleaning and brushing habits and isn’t chugging juice all day long every day, you’ll be fine. We just want to help you think through ways to balance or moderate your child’s juice intake. Here are some basic dos and don’ts.
- Dilute juice with water.
- Drink juice mainly at mealtimes.
- Drink milk or water in between meals.
- Let your kids eat fruits instead of drinking juice (it gives them the vitamins they need and is better for their teeth).
- Make sure your kid’s brush and floss.
- Put your kid to bed with a cup of juice.
- Drink juice all day long.
We know you’re a busy mom, and you’re trying to do what’s best for your kids. We don’t want you to feel stressed about letting your kids have juice. Everything is fine in moderation, and we hope some of these quick tips will give you confidence in this aspect of your child’s oral healthcare!