Effect of Fruit Juices on Children's Teeth
Many kids enjoy fruit juice, and many parents offer juices as a healthier alternative to soft drinks, energy drinks and other sweetened beverages. Although a single serving of juice can provide valuable nutrients that a child might otherwise not get in his or her diet, too much juice can have a detrimental effect on his or her teeth.
A recent report revealed that some children are drinking as much as five servings of juice a day and that the high sugar content increases the risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugar feeds oral bacteria, which then produces an acidic waste product that attacks dental enamel. A constant sugar bath, such as that accompanying frequent juice intake, can contribute to plaque buildup, particularly along the gumline and between teeth where it may be more difficult for children to remove. Additionally, juice also tends to have a high concentration of acids. The combination of this acid and the acidic byproducts of oral bacteria can demineralize teeth and leave them more prone to dental cavities.
Juice can play a role in a healthy diet, but its consumption does need to be monitored. Children can benefit more from whole, fresh fruits that can provide them with essential nutrients and fiber, which can even help mechanically clean the teeth. Brushing after meals and flossing daily can help keep teeth and gums healthier. Our Northridge dentist recommends biannual dental checkups for most patients. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your child’s consultation.
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