We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. But what about juices that don’t have added sugar and are 100% juice?
Many parents choose this juice for their kids thinking it’s the better option. Of course, juice is more nutritious than soda or energy drinks
Fruits are beneficial for our bodies, and some fruits such as apples have firm flesh that can actually help clean our teeth. However, when you have juiced fruits, it’s important to remember that much of what makes the fruit valuable is missing. The fiber is gone, leaving just water and sugar. What this does is concentrate the sugar content as well as the acids present in the fruit. Since oral bacteria thrive best in an acidic environment, this leaves them with plenty of opportunity to attack tooth enamel and can lead to an increased risk of cavities.
All sugar can be damaging to the teeth and contribute to tooth decay. Sugar’s effects on the teeth are intensified by prolonged exposure. This means if you give your child a bottle with juice in it for them to sip on throughout the day, their chances for tooth decay increase dramatically.
Although your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out to accommodate their adult teeth, this doesn’t mean that tooth decay is acceptable. Children’s baby teeth play a crucial role in the alignment and health of their adult teeth. Regular checkups with us can keep their smiles healthy for life!
Although fruit juice—even in it’s purest form—shouldn’t be your first choice for your child’s fluid consumption, there are things you can do to limit the damage and still enjoy juices. These practices include:
- Limit consumption. Instead of drinking juice all day, enjoy one glass of juice every day or only a few times a week.
- Mix with water. Still enjoy the taste and sweetness, but just not as concentrated!
- Drink with a straw. This way the juice bypasses your teeth and therefore can help minimize damage.
- Never sip over periods of time. This can greatly increase your chances for tooth decay. Drink it all in one sitting!
- Eat more whole fruits. The fiber and water content will help stop tooth decay rather than promote it.
- Never brush immediately after. It can take up to an hour for your mouth’s pH to return to normal. Always wait at least 30 minutes to help protect your enamel.
- Rinse with water. After drinking juice, rinse with water afterwards to get rid of those sugars and protect your teeth and help normalize the pH.