Juices May Be Just as Hard on Teeth as Sodas

Parents with the best intentions will rarely give their children soda, but are regularly providing fruit juice, believing it’s a healthier choice.

Which one is better for a child’s teeth – soda or fruit juice? Neither one, actually, according to experts at Western Dental.

 Research shows that juice, soda, diet soda, and even tea aren’t “healthy” alternatives for sugary soft drinks. These drinks all expose the teeth – of both children and adults – to decaying acids that cause dental erosion, lead to cavities, and can create overall health problems.

Western Dental explains the key points:

--What causes dental erosion? Sugar and acid are the primary culprits. The erosion takes place when the enamel (the teeth’s hard, protective coating) is eaten away by acid and sugary substances. Both helpful and harmful bacteria live on the teeth, gums, and tongue.

--Sugar’s impact: Tooth decay is caused by a bacterial infection and uses sugar to make acids. The more sugar you consume, the more acids are produced, and gradually this creates a cavity in the tooth.

--Acid’s impact: When something acidic is consumed, the enamel is temporarily softened. Frequent exposure to acid eats away at the protective layer on your teeth and can lead to tooth decay.

Here are tips to avoid tooth erosion:

--Drink acidic beverages all at once, instead of sipping it all day.

--Use a straw to avoid the teeth from being immersed in liquid.

--Substitute acidic beverages with water.

--Rinse mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages, instead of brushing.

Drinks to avoid include soda, diet soda, energy drinks, orange juice, apple juice, tea and citric juices.

Recommended food and drinks include cheese, leafy greens, plain yogurt and almonds. Water, milk and unsweetened tea are the best choices for children and adults to maintain good oral health and overall health.

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