At ABC Dental in Independence we often hear the same question from concerned parents. Do we have any suggestions how to keep their children’s teeth healthy and how can they prevent cavities. One of the biggest ways you can help keep your children’s teeth happy and healthy is to reconsider what they are drinking.
Water is the absolute best option for your kids to drink to keep their teeth healthy. Plain white milk is also a great option. Did you know that even milk has sugar in it? The sugar found in milk or lactose is still a small amount compared to the fruit juices, chocolate milks and sodas you may be giving your children.
Even if the juice you are giving your children is considered “healthy” and “natural” a mere eight ounce serving of orange juice has two teaspoons of sugar! If you are giving your children more than one glass of orange juice a day, that sugar intake can add up pretty quickly. Try replacing fruit juice with real fruit. Juice does not have the fiber that actual fruit does and will not provide the teeth cleaning benefits of some fruit, like apples.
Even vitamin water is a sugar culprit, most vitamin waters have a whopping 33 grams (over 8 teaspoons) of sugar!
The American Heart Association recommends three teaspoons of sugar for children daily, no more. The average American consumes over 22 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis! Drinks are a large contributing factor to the astonishing sugar count. Consuming that much sugar is not only bad for your teeth, it can also lead to obesity.
Check out the sugar content in some popular 8 oz beverages:
Water: has no sugar! No surprise there!
Orange Juice: 2 teaspoons of sugar
Coca-Cola: 9 teaspoons of sugar
Chocolate Milk: 12 teaspoons of sugar
Monster Energy Drink: 13 teaspoons of sugar
Mountain Dew: 19 teaspoons of sugar (OH MY!)
When you are out grocery shopping we recommend that you take a moment to read your food labels, especially for food marketed towards children – they may have more sugar than you realize. On some packages sugar is measured in grams. One teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams.
Having something with sugar in it should be a treat and is acceptable in small and infrequent doses. When your children do consume treats make sure they brush their teeth afterwards!
For more tips on keeping your children’s teeth happy and healthy contact ABC Dental in Independence today! Our friendly staff make your child’s experience a stress free and happy one that will make them want to take care of their teeth and come back for more.