As promised, here is part two of our four-part series on surprising foods that are bad for teeth. We hope this piece helps you learn more about tooth-friendly nutrition and dental care for National Dental Health Month.
Everyone knows soda is unhealthy. With 30 to 40 grams of sugar per can, it’s an abomination to dentists everywhere! When looking for healthy alternatives to soda and other sugary drinks, many parents consider fruit juice to be a great choice. Since fruit juice is high in essential vitamins, fruit juice is often considered a much better choice than other beverages. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case.
Fruit juice contains sugars and citric acid that can cause wear away the enamel, leading to tooth decay at an early age. For example, apple juice has as much as 24 grams of sugar per cup which is just as bad as soda. Grape juice is even worse, with nearly 36 grams. And that’s natural juice! Concentrated versions may have even more added sugar! Furthermore, many brands strain out the pulp in fruit juice, so there’s less fiber content.
Consuming fruit juice isn’t the problem. What really causes cavities is when we consume too much juice and forget to rinse or brush afterwards. Children are especially at risk of cavities if they drink from bottles or sippy cups. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that kids have no more than 6 to 8 ounces of citrus fruit juice per day. It’s also a good idea to limit your children’s consumption of juice to once per day, preferably with a mea. Drinking from a bottle or sippy cup exposes your child to sugar all day without any opportunity to flush it out with water or saliva.