Is Juice Healthy For Your Young Child's Teeth And Gums?

During the transition from the bottle to the sippy cup, many parents fill their children's cups with juice to entice them into using them more. Juice is often thought to be a healthier option compared to some other beverages, such as carbonated soda. However, juice could possibly lead to dental problems that could last beyond your child's first set of teeth. If your child drinks juice, here is what you need to know about its possible impact.

Is Juice a Good Choice?

Although juice is often touted as the healthy alternative to other drinks, that is not always the case. Even juices that claim to be natural could potentially cause harm to your child's teeth.

Fruit juices typically contain a high level of sugar. Depending on the juice, the sugar level could be as much as that found in a carbonated soda. The sugar in the juice could increase the chances that your child could have a cavity. Your child could even experience bottle tooth decay, which could lead to the need for extensive dental work.

Some of the juices also have a high level of acid in them. The acid sticks to your child's teeth and can start erosion of the enamel. When the enamel has been weakened, the chances of experiencing dental problems is exponentially increased.

What Can You Do?

As the guardian of your child's health, you must make smart choices when it comes to your child's drinks and oral health. One place to start is by reducing or eliminating the juice from your child's diet. If you do continue to give him or her juice, avoid giving it to him or her right before bedtime to reduce the risk of bottle tooth decay.

In addition to this, you need to look for beverages that are more teeth and gums friendly. For instance, milk can help with the development of your child's teeth. As with other beverages, avoid giving the milk to your child before he or she goes to sleep.

You should also increase his or her water intake. Water helps to increase the flow of saliva in your child's mouth. Saliva is one of the natural tools that you have at your disposal for getting rid of bacteria, sugar, and acid from juices and other foods and beverages.

Talk to your child's pediatric dentist to learn about other ways to protect your child's teeth through the early years.