A child drinking too much fruit juice from a sippy cup is at risk of tooth decay.

Is Fruit Juice a Healthy Drink for Children?

This might come as a surprise to some parents: fruit juice isn’t the healthiest beverage for your child. Not only is it less nutritious than the fruit itself, but the juice from fruits is also usually higher in sugar. Yes, even freshly squeezed, pure juice with no added sugar. It’s healthier for your child to eat fresh fruit and drink more water instead.

Related: Early Childhood Nutrition

How Do Sugary Drinks Affect Your Child’s Teeth?

Too much sugary juice or fruit drinks for your child may result in tooth decay. While baby teeth do get replaced by adult teeth eventually, they are equally important for eating and speech development and play a part in permanent teeth alignment. Your child will only lose his baby molars when he’s about 10 to 12 years old.

Serious and untreated decay on milk teeth can cause pain for your child and may even affect the developing permanent tooth.

What Can You Do to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children?

Exercise good dental care for your child’s milk teeth to prevent tooth decay and ensure that your child has a beautiful smile for life!

Do's and Don'ts

  • Avoid putting sugary drinks into your baby’s sippy cup, e.g. apple juice, soft drinks and flavoured milk, as this encourages prolonged, frequent consumption of sugary drinks throughout the day. Formula milk is also an example of a sugary drink! Instead, choose water or plain cow’s milk.
  • Offer your toddler water when he is thirsty. Milk (breast, formula, or whole) are for snacks!
  • If the little one is a fussy drinker who’s used to drinking only juice or cannot stop drinking sugary drinks immediately, try giving your child less juice by diluting your child’s juice with water. Start with 50% juice and 50% water, and slowly reduce the amount of juice over time. Your baby will be drinking water before you know it!
  • Don’t let your child take a sippy cup of juice or formula milk to bed. Liquids with sugars in them will stay on your child’s teeth overnight and cause decay.
  • Clean the cup regularly, especially the lid and the plastic stopper.

So remember, mummies and daddies—protect your toddler’s pearly whites. Keep juice and other sugary beverages out of your junior’s sippy cup!

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References

  1. Sippy Cup Do's and Don'ts. Retrieved November 2018 from https://www.babycenter.com/0_sippy-cup-dos-and-donts_1439508.bc