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Pure Fruit Juices Okay for Kids

Dec 04, 2014

By Dean George

Any way you think the drink, there’s a lot of beverage choices out there – most of them bad for our teeth. 

The Coca-Cola website alone claims more than 500 sparkling and still brands it makes, and that doesn’t count “Fairlife” - the new lactose-free, low-sugar milk product they announced December 1.

Add to that all the other soda, sports, energy and kiddies’ juice box drinks and you can almost imagine continental tooth enamel eroding faster than the polar ice caps are – or aren’t, depending upon whom you believe.

The American Dental Association (ADA) announced some good news December 1, particularly for those kids and adults that drink pure fruit juice: researchers found no link between 100% pure juice consumption and tooth cavities, regardless if more than the recommended 6 ounces a day is consumed.

Based on available studies at the time, Dental Wire has previously cautioned readers on the damage citrus fruit and drinks can do to teeth. That’s all still true, although the most recent studies concerning pure fruit juice consumed by young children may be an exception.

Researchers suggest the surprise findings may be for different reasons:

  • Children’s exposure to fluoride in public water supplies and toothpaste
  • Pure fruit juice contains antibacterial properties that reduce oral bacteria
  • The natural sugar pure juice contains is less harmful than artificially sweetened juice
  • Parents who give their children pure fruit juice are more health conscious and proactive in teaching and monitoring their kids’ oral health habits.

In this most recent study the research team analyzed results from nearly 2,300 nationally representative kids between 2 to 5 years old. Overall, 29% of the kids had cavities, with older kids more likely to have cavities than younger ones – despite the fact that preschoolers consume about double the amount of fruit juice than older children.

The study findings are another reminder as to the importance of regular six-month checkups for preschoolers. Parents can monitor oral health issues for their kids like brushing twice daily, using mouth rinse and the importance of flossing, but parents should always consult a dentist concerning their child’s risk assessment for cavities, including whether or not dental sealants and fluoride treatment are recommended and to ensure their child’s normal tooth development.

Regular dental visits are always easier with dental plans that cover routine checkups, X-rays and basic oral health maintenance. All of our plans do that and much more. For plans available in your area, click here.

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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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