Drink Well While Protecting Your Child’s Tooth Enamel
“If you’re thirsty, drink orange juice rather than soda.” You’ve probably said that more than once to your child. But did you know that too much citrus juice can actually harm the enamel coating on your child’s teeth? It is true, but that does not mean your child should avoid orange juice and other citrus altogether. It simply means that he or she needs to take a couple of steps to make sure the damage is avoided.
Citrus juices pose a threat to enamel because they contain high levels of citric acid, and acid can erode tooth enamel over time. While all citrus fruits contain citric acid—including lemons and grapefruit—orange juice is more commonly consumed by children than, say, grapefruit juice.
Everyone needs vitamin C, and if your child loves orange juice, there’s no reason to prevent him or her from enjoying the health benefits of 100% orange juice. But you should take a few precautions.
- Don’t let your child overindulge. One 8-ounce cup of orange juice contains 82 mg of vitamin C. If your child has reached his or her recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (from 15 mg to 75 mg, depending on your child’s age), consider encouraging him or her to drink water instead.
- Once your child is finished drinking, encourage him or her to drink water or rinse with water to remove residue.
- If your child can’t rinse after drinking orange juice, consider offering sugar-free gum to increase production of saliva, which can help neutralize acids and wash away food particles.
Finally, be aware of the signs of enamel erosion. Pain or discomfort when eating hot or cold foods is the most common, but yellowed teeth and cupping or shiny spots on tooth surfaces are also signs. If your child exhibits any symptoms of erosion, come into KiDDS Dental right away.
We'd love to meet you and your family! Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!