We all want our kids to have healthy, shiny, white teeth. We do our best to vigilantly clean them twice a day, and we teach our little people how to brush their own teeth so they can learn to keep their teeth healthy.
Most of us don’t allow our children to drink soft drink, unless it’s a super special occasion, then they might be lucky to get a little sip. We don’t feed them lollies or chocolates on the regular, just as a special treat. We do all we can to maintain our children’s dental health. But we might be doing one little thing, without realising the damage it can cause. And what would that be?
Giving our young children fruit juice.
Did you know that fruit juice is just as bad for your children’s teeth as soft drink, due to it’s high sugar and acidity? Even juice you make yourself. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it wasn’t as healthy as water, but I did think it was obviously a better choice than soft drink, and that the vitamins they were getting from the fruits in the juice would be good for their growing bodies.
It wasn’t until a recent dentist appointment that I learned just how bad juice was for my children’s teeth. The dentist was explaining to me the various ways we can help keep our children’s teeth healthy, and she said:
“Now, fruit juice has absolutely no place in your child’s diet. The only fruit juice they should be getting is from eating a piece of fruit, that way they’ll get the fibre from the fruit as well. Stick with water, and milk with a meal.”
Her words really stuck with me. I wondered how many other parents out there were happy to give their children juice, but who would never dream of offering them a lemonade!
I never used to let my kids drink juice when they were very young, but they are three and four now, and I must admit I had been letting them drink juice quite regularly, in addition to water and milk, of course. Up until our dentist visit, that is! Now juice has become a special treat in our house. And the kids haven’t even seemed to mind.
I must not be the only parent unknowingly feeding my children drinks and foods damaging to their teeth, though. Upon returning home from our dentist appointment, I did some research, and shockingly, it turns out that a great deal of our children have rotting teeth.
Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) show that almost 50% of all children aged 5 – 6 have experienced some tooth decay in their baby teeth, and in what seems a worrying trend, one in two 12 year olds have decay in their adult teeth as well.
That is a lot of children with decaying teeth!
To keep your kid’s teeth in absolute tip top condition and to help prevent decay, follow these helpful tips below:
* Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.
* Make sure your child drinks lots of water. Avoid sugary drinks.
* Ensure your child eats a variety of fruits and vegetables. Cheese is also a healthy snack.
* Avoid including too many sweets, crackers and other processed snacks in your child’s diet, as these foods stick to your child’s teeth, and can cause decay over time.
* Make sure your child has regular dental appointments, from their first year of age.
If you would like to learn more about caring for your child’s teeth, it’s a great idea to book your child an appointment with your dentist. They can tell you everything you need to know about keeping your child’s teeth healthy and cavity free!
Tell me, do you usually let your child drink fruit juice, or did you already know just how damaging it was to your children’s teeth?
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
Jess Hunt is a freelance writer from Australia. Her work has been published by some of the country’s biggest parenting websites, including: Essential Baby, Kidspot, and Mamamia
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