Do you give your children fruit juice?

Many parents have introduced their young children to fruit juice as part of a healthy diet. Recent media reports have highlighted that parents are ignorant to the damage that fruit juice causes to their childrens milk teeth.

Last year it was recorded that over 1,200 toddlers were admitted to hospital to have rotten teeth removed under General Anaesthesia. Many of these cases were due to children being given fruit juice in their bottles.

Here at Dove Dental Care, we are continually working with parents to make them aware of what foods and drinks can be harmful to their childrens teeth. We all know that fruit is a great source of vitamins and is good for us, as long as it is in moderation.

We see many adults how have ersion of their teeth due to juicing sweet and acidic fruits such as oranges and pineapples. There are juice crazed diets and detox programmes that are all too appealing for those of us who want to shed a few pounds.

For adults that attend the dentist regularly, this is something that is identified and prevented before it becomes irreversible and then serious cosmetic work is required.

For children, milk teeth are much softer than adult teeth and if a child is given fruit juice daily, then the rate of erosion is rapid. The erosion is irreversible for a child because it attacks the enamel so hard that the enamel literally ‘melts away’ leaving the child with rotten looking teeth.

The child will experience pain and sensitivity because the dentine is now exposed and this is much softer than the enamel which has been protecting it. When acid and sugar from fruit juices attack dentine, decay expands like a mushroom and eats away to the nerve of the tooth.

There is sugar in all fruits. Some fruits are more acidic than others and giving your child fruit juice in a bottle exposes their teeth to a prolonged attack of acids and sugars.

Did you know that a glass of apple juice contains 7 teaspoons of sugar? this is the same amount that is in a can of coke! This is also the same as homemade and shop bought fresh fruit smoothies.

Some yoghurts have 4 teaspoons of sugar! and cereal bars! If you give your child fruit juice or yoghurts inbetween meals then their teeth are exposed to the acid and sugar for longer.

  • Our advice to parents is simple.
  • Avoid fruit juice as much as possible.
  • Milk and water are the best drinks to give your children.
  • If you want to give your child some fruit as a snack then do it along with meals rather than inbetween meals. For example, give your child lunch and a small piece of fruit with it.
  • Research your fruits and learn which ones are the most acidic.Do not give your child fruit juice in a bottle. Ever.
  • Take your child to the dentist as soon as you see teeth coming through. Bring your child to your routine dental examination, we are always on hand to give tips and advice to parents. This will also build up your childs trust and confidence in the dental team.
  • Brush your childs milk teeth with a small amount of flouride toothpaste. All children up to the age of 3 should be using a toothpaste with at least 1000ppm of flouride (this information is found at the back of the toothpaste tube) For more information and advice about flouride please follow this link

When small children lose their baby teeth too soon it can result in the adult teeth coming through in the wrong place. This happens because there is more space due to extraction of the baby teeth. The long term effects of this is an orthodontic appliance in their teens to correct this.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to make the right diet choices for your child from the very beginning. Let your dental team guide you with our advice and knowlegde.

If you have any questions about your childs dental health or would like to book your child in for a dental visit then call us today on 01332 345 222 and we can arrange this for you.

Dove Dental Team.