In regards to child dental care and health care in general, the APA is now stating, “No fruit juice for children under the age of one” as one of it’s guidelines.
When most parents see a product labeled “100% all natural fruit juice, no sugar added,” they tend to think this drink would be healthy for their children of all ages.
According to the APA (American Pediatric Association), parents should not offer fruit juice to infants under the age of one year old, unless advised by a doctor. The APA’s previous guidelines were not to give fruit juice to infants under six months of age. However, recent research shows that fruit juice may be more harmful than beneficial for children up to one year old. The APA says there is no nutritional benefit from fruit juice.
How can this be when fruit juices are high in vitamins like vitamin C and contain minerals like potassium? The problem is this: the juices also have high sugar content — some up to two teaspoons of sugar per serving. Also the juices lack fiber.
A 2015 study stated that fruit juice was one of the biggest causes of tooth decay. Another study associated it with childhood obesity.
Child Dental Care: APA Recommendations for Fruit Juice for Children
The APA recommends:
- For children between one and three years old — no more than 4 ounces of fruit juice daily
- For children between ages four and six — no more than 4-6 ounces of fruit juice daily
- For children between the ages of 7 — 18 years — no more than 8 ounces of fruit juice daily
Special Warning for Toddlers
The APA recommends not giving toddlers fruit juices in bottles or sippy cups. When you do this, your child ends up drinking juice throughout the day, which leads to excessive exposure to the juice and puts them at risk for tooth decay.
The APA encourages parents to give their children whole fruits and to educate kids about the reasons they prefer having them eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Whatever dental issues your child faces, getting regular checkups can help. Dr. Baker is always glad to explain the best way to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems.