The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatricians (AAP) both recently released findings that say parents should completely avoid giving juice in infants before the age of one. Sugar consumption is the leading cause of dental decay in children and for these young babies juice appears to be the culprit.
After 6 months of age, if juice is recommended by your pediatrician, this report says it’s wiser to use a cup, so the juice is fully ingested and not left to linger with a nipple on the teeth. Even better is giving your child real fruit as the juice has less nutritional value. The sad fact is the that consumption of juice has been attributed with a rise in dental caries in babies under 1. It was also found that diluting the juice with water has no effect in stemming the dental health risks.
Drs. Jill and Michael Lasky have always recommended that parents put their baby to sleep with a bottle of anything except water. And now with the results of this new study, it’s more important than ever to heed this warning to avoid dental caries in your child. They also recommend introducing teeth cleaning to your child as soon as the baby’s first tooth comes in, by using a damp diaper or products like Spiffies to wipe down their teeth after they drink milk from a breast or a bottle. Milk sugars can also cause dental caries. Plus, the earlier your child is introduced to this most important habit of teeth brushing, the easier it will be to sustain it through their lives.