Next time your child is thirsty, you may want to rethink reaching for a bottle of juice. Just because juice is made from fruit does not mean it is healthy. In fact, some juices have almost as much sugar as a soda does. Should kids drink juice, and how much is the recommended amount of juice that your child can drink?
Drinking sugary drinks can lead to poor oral health for your child, plus keeping their sugar intake down overall. Offering them an actual piece of fruit is a healthier alternative because it has additional nutrients as well as fiber. Juice also contains a high concentration of acid, these acids can break down teeth and lead to cavities.
It is important to know that it is recommended to wait to give juice until a child is at least a year old. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children 1-3 years old should be limited to 4 ounces of juice per day, children 4 to 6 years old 4-6 ounces per day, and children 7-18 years old 8 ounces per day.
Juice becomes more of an issue when it is provided to children in sippy cups or bottles. They release the sugary liquids slowly over a long period of time, leaving sugar on the teeth for extended periods of time. If your child is using a sippy cup or bottle, water is recommended as a healthy alternative to juice or soda.
According to the American Dental Association, giving a bottle of juice overnight can increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Most often the front teeth are the most affected.
If you do choose to give your child juice, opt for 100% juices that don’t contain added sugars. Diluting juice with water is another great way to provide a little juice without all the sugar. Ingesting sugary drinks increases calorie intake and can actually create more complications such as excess body weight.
Concerned about your child’s sugar intake? Reach out to your pediatrician or discuss their oral health implications during your next appointment at Cumberland Valley Pediatric Dentistry.