Limiting or eliminating juice, soda and Gatorade in your child’s diet would cut his/her sugar intake by a big percentage and helps to preserve excellent dental and general health.
For children under 1 year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding juice completely in their diet.
Children aged 1-6 years old should have no more than 4 to 6 oz. of juice each day and it is smart to water it down if it is served. Between ages 7 to 18, the recommended amount is no more than 8 to 12 oz. That’s the equivalent of one juice box for younger kids and two juice boxes for older kids.
Pre-teens and teenagers begin to socialize with sodas, or use energy drinks for study and sports. Soda is the main culprit for tooth decay in kids aged 14-19. The sugar amount in one glass or one can of soda is ridiculously high, worth three days of the recommended sugar intake for children or adults, leading to not just tooth decay but it can be a contributing factor in developing diabetes and obesity.
- “Don’t let children sip on juice unsupervised,” says Dr. Mak. “Give them the amount recommended during meals. Don’t turn juice into a snack they nurse for hours. That prolongs the exposure of young teeth to tooth decay-causing acids.”
- Juice and soda feed the mouth bacteria the sugar energy they desire that cause those bacteria to secrete acid that causes cavities. Having juice or soda with meals ensures an abundant saliva flow (stimulated by food) to neutralize and wash away this bacteria and the acid they produce.
- Drinking through a straw reduces the contact between soda/juice and your child’s teeth. Teach your kids to swallow directly and not hold the juice in their mouth.
- Or skip the juice and soda entirely. Set an example by making good choices as a parent and explain why it isn’t kept in the house
- Look into sugar-free, xylitol or ketogenic energy drinks for your athletes. Or even better, give them the boost they need with fruits and real protein.
- Teach your kids to rinse their mouth by drinking water after having juice or soda to help neutralize acids and sugars that may be left over from the juice, soda or Gatorade.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.