Candy isn’t the only cavity-causing culprit. Sugary drinks are everywhere — and they’re wreaking havoc on children’s teeth.
Sugar’s connection to obesity, type II diabetes, and other health problems is already well-established. What many of us don’t realize is that sugar, particularly when it’s in what we drink, also causes tooth decay. This is especially true in young children. In many states, like Colorado, early childhood tooth decay is rampant, setting kids up for a lifetime of dental problems.
Sugar isn’t just in soda, flavored milks, “enhanced” waters, and energy and sports drinks. It’s also in juice — even 100% fruit juices that are marketed as healthy for kids.
When young kids sip on juice throughout the day, the result is a cavity-causing acid attack on their baby teeth. The sugar in juice fuels “bad” bacteria in our mouths that then produce acid that eats through the thin enamel of children’s baby teeth. This causes decay, cavities, and, sometimes, painful infection. Baby teeth are especially vulnerable to cavities, soda, energy and sports drinks, and other sugary beverages, but they also inflict the same harm on adult teeth.
A 2014 survey by Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation showed many children drink juice several times a week. More than half of parents reported that juice is the drink their child is most likely to walk around with during the day. Children are far better off eating whole fruit.
That’s not to say juice is bad all of the time. If your child drinks juice, limit it to mealtimes. Between meals, when your child’s mouth is naturally cleaning itself and restoring a healthy pH balance, give your child only water — preferably tap water. Even more important: If your child likes to have a drink at his or her bedside, be sure it’s only water.
Giving your child only water between meals and at bedtime, along with daily brushing and regular check-ups, will help ensure a beautiful smile for life.
Learn more at CavitiesGetAround.com.