We have all given fruit juice to our children. But it is good for their teeth?
Drinking fruit juice can help to lower the chances of heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases, such as with cranberries, the juice is more palatable than the berries themselves. However, fruit juice is not entirely safe and beneficial, and can harm your teeth in different ways.
Juice often has added sugar, in which case it is known in the US as a juice cocktail or juice drink. Even pure fruit juices contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugars which can affect teeth. In fact, a pure fruit juice may contain more sugar than a soda.
Orange juice in particular has been studied and has been found to decrease tooth hardness and roughen the surface of teeth, leaving them more prone to plaque and cavities.
What to do:
Limiting consumption of fruit juice, and/or drinking juice diluted with water will decrease the amount of damage done by juice to teeth. Brushing regularly and particularly after drinking juice can help to control the levels of bacteria on teeth. Some experts recommend drinking juice with a straw to limit contact with teeth, and juice should never be held in or swished around the mouth before swallowing. Drinking juice quickly is better than sipping it over a longer period of time. Some studies have indicated that increased fluoride may help to lessen the effects of fruit juice on teeth, so use toothpaste with fluoride if possible.
Switching to whole fruit, moderating fruit juice intake and otherwise limiting the exposure of teeth to fruit juice will help ensure that teeth stay healthy.