MINNEAPOLIS – While a hot summer day might have you reaching for a fruit juice, the Minnesota Dental Association encourages parents and caregivers to be aware of sugar content in these thirst-quenching beverages and limit the amount given to children.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Oftentimes people think sugar just comes from pop but beware of high sugar content in juice, too. Sugar content in fruit juices combine with bacteria in your mouth and forms acid. The acid eats away at the tooth’s enamel causing tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), nearly half of children age 6-11 and more than half of children age 12-19 are affected by this preventable disease.

If you serve your child fruit juice, it is important to remember the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) age-appropriate intake recommendations:

    • Children under 1 year: Juice not recommended
    • Children ages 1-3: 4 ounces/day
    • Children ages 4-6: 4 to 6 ounces/day
    • Children ages 7-18: 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit servings/day

What else can you do?

    • Always offer water first (fluoridated water is best!)
    • Serve the recommended, age-appropriate juice limits at mealtimes only
    • When your family is done eating, clean up any leftover juice instead of letting your child leave the table with it
    • Brush twice a day and floss daily

By making health-conscious decisions and setting good habits at an early age, your child’s oral health will benefit for years to come.

The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.