Is Juice Bad for a Child’s Teeth?

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Parents want their children to be healthy and try to give them foods and beverages that they consider safe and nutritious. They also want to choose things that their children like. Many kids are fond of juice, and parents often believe that it is one of the healthiest beverages.

The Problem with Juice

While juice is definitely better than soda, it still can contain a lot of sugar. The sugar in juice can lead to tooth decay. The problem can be especially serious if the juice is given to a child in a bottle. When a child drinks from a cup, the juice is quickly swallowed, but when it is drunk from a bottle, the sugar in the juice bathes the teeth. If a child is put to bed with a bottle containing juice, the teeth can be bathed in the sugar for hours, leading to a condition called baby bottle tooth decay. The problem most often affects the upper front teeth.

How Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Affects Children

Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious problem that affects many toddlers. Cavities in baby teeth can make it difficult for a child to chew, which can lead to malnutrition. Tooth decay can also make it difficult for a child to learn to speak clearly and can lead to pain. If a baby tooth falls out too early, it may not be replaced with a permanent tooth right away. This can lead to problems with crowding that may need to be corrected with braces later.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

The easiest and most effective way to prevent baby bottle tooth decay is to limit the amount that your child uses a bottle. You can give your child a bottle at mealtimes, but do not let him or her drink from a bottle throughout the day, unless it contains only water. If your child finds sucking soothing, you can give him or her a pacifier. You should never put your child to bed with a bottle unless it is filled only with water.

Teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible. Most children are able to start drinking from a cup around the age of 1. Many parents find that sippy cups are helpful to teach children to drink from a cup without spilling its contents.

Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist by the Age of 1

You should take your child to a pediatric dentist for an exam by his or her first birthday. The dentist will count your child’s teeth and look for early signs of decay. If your child is due for a dental exam, schedule an appointment with CT Pediatric Dentistry today.

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David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:00 PM