You know that fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Juice is made from fruit, so it must be healthy too, right? Actually, many juices are packed with sugar and empty calories that could negatively impact your child's oral health. Here's a little more about juice from our Burnaby dentists.
Often parents believe that they’re taking care of their children by giving them fruit juices. Unfortunately even fruit juices can be loaded with sugar. Just one glass of apple juice can have the same amount of sugar as a glass of pop!
Children who drink too much juice can end up with cavities and tooth decay.
How do you know which juices are healthy for your child?
Be diligent! Not all juice is pure, and many have little nutritional value. Always look at the main ingredients listed on the bottle.
Be wary of any drinks labelled as mixed juice blends, juice cocktails, fruit punch, or drinks. Only offer your child 100% juice with no added sugar or other ingredients.
Pure juices that are rich in vitamins include orange, vegetable, and grape.
What can I do to avoid my child getting cavities?
Removing sugary drinks from your child’s diet is best for good oral health.
When sugary drinks can't be avoided here are some things to keep in mind:
- Avoid putting juice in slow release containers, like sippy cups or bottles, where juice pools in the mouth.
- Be sure to brush their teeth (or wipe their gums if they don't have teeth yet) before bedtime.
- Never put babies to bed with milk or juice bottles.
- Do not give young children more than 4-6 ounces of fruit juice per day.
- Try diluting the juice with water.
- Introduce other options like milk, sparkling water or fruit smoothies.
- Give your child actual fruit when possible - it gives them added fibre and nutrients.