16. May 2011 06:01
The most common cause of cavities in my practice in children 6 years old and under comes from drinks; specifically juices. Most parents are surprised to learn that the average child only needs 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day! That is the size of a juice box or less! Also of importance is that the juice is 100% pure juice. A lot of drinks that children enjoy are "juice drinks", meaning that there is only a small amount of juice (sometimes 5% of the whole drink) and the rest is sugar! Children should enjoy the juice at meal time only and not walk around with it in a bottle or sippy cup. The sippy cup is convenient because it does not allow drinks to spill but it allows children to take small drinks continuously throughout the day. Each of these small drinks are also small, constant exposures to sugar. What we recommend to parents is water in between meals, white milk at meals (meaning not chocolate or strawberry!), and juice occasionally at meals, sticking with the 4-6 ounce restriction. Another suggestion is to dilute the juice with water so, once again, the child is receiving less sugar.
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