Juice often seems like a good, healthy beverage to drink, simply because it comes from fruit; however, this is not really the case. Juice is loaded with sugar, and giving it to your child might increase your child's risk of developing cavities. Here are several important things to know if you want to give juice or other sugary beverages to your young children.
Sugar feeds bacteria
When you give a child anything that contains a lot of sugars, it can lead to decay on teeth. This occurs when the bacteria in your child's mouth feed on the sugar the child consumes. Sugar stick to teeth, and the bacteria eats the sugar. When this happens, it produces acid, and acid is what eats away at teeth in the form of cavities. Because of this, anything your child consumes that contains a lot of sugar will increase the child's risk of cavities.
Juice is liquid
Secondly, it's important to know that beverages containing a lot of sugar are almost worse than foods that contain a lot of sugar, and this is primarily because beverages get in between the teeth a lot easier than food. As this happens, it is harder to get the sugar out of these areas, unless your small child is an expert flosser, and most are not. This is why giving your child juice is a bad idea if you want your child to have good teeth.
Diluting it is a good idea
Many doctors recommend diluting juice if you want to give it to the child. By diluting it, you reduce the sugar content in the juice, and this naturally decreases the risk of the child developing cavities when compared to giving juice without being diluted. To dilute it, mix juice and water in equal parts.
Avoiding sugary drinks is the best idea
Even though your child probably still has baby teeth, it is still important to realize that baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth, and you should use caution with the beverages and foods you give your child. To do this, try to stick with feeding your child foods that are healthy and low in sugar and do the same with beverages. Children really only need milk and water, and both are good for their teeth.
If you have questions about your child's teeth or oral care, contact a dentist to schedule an appointment.