No Fruit Juice Before Age One

No juice before age one for healthy baby teeth
Healthy baby teeth

No Fruit Juice Before Age One

All that sugar, the bright tastes, and the easy availability makes fruit juice a favorite of little children, but…

Fruit juice should be a no-no for the little ones

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new recommendations that advise parents to avoid fruit juice before age 1.

They make the bold statement that fruit juice has “no nutritional benefit” and it can harm their health. Here’s the problem: fruit juice doesn’t have nearly enough nutrients for the level of sugar that is in it. Some fruit juices, like orange, are high in some vitamins and minerals, like potassium and vitamin C. They don’t have many other nutrients, like protein and fiber, that can offset the sugar content. Other fruit juices, such as apple juice, have very little to recommend them; they are almost purely sugars.

It might seem like giving a child “100% pure fruit juice” is a great thing. It can feel almost you’re giving them actual fruit. In reality, many of the best parts of the fruit have been squeezed out, but the sugars have been left behind.

Fruit Juice and Baby Teeth

The sugars in the fruit juice, along with the acids, are terrible on baby teeth, let alone adult teeth. Often, children, unlike adults, will drink the same juice for hours at a time. They will slowly sip their bottle or sippy cup until it disappears.

Even if a child’s teeth haven’t erupted yet, the sugars can affect the growing teeth. The teeth are growing under the gums. The sugars and acids that are flowing around the mouth can begin their work, even through a few layers of gum tissue in the mouth.

Sugar and Baby’s Body

Not only does sugar affect the growing of teeth in the mouth, but it can affect how the body grows. That level of sugar is not good for the whole body, including the tooth buds that are growing baby’s gums.

The Alternatives

Obviously, pure, natural water is a great choice. Purified water is very important. Baby’s immune system might not be able to fight contaminants in some water supplies.  Breast milk is by far the best thing for a baby to drink, but that might not be enough as the baby gets older.

Formula is an alternative if that’s what baby has been raised on.

Be sure to read our blog, When to take your child to the dentist. It can guide you on more of the care that baby needs as she grows up into a brilliant and charming adult.