Beverages

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Salivary pH remains low between meals which makes frequent snacking inadvisable. Maximizing the interval between food intake allows time for teeth to remineralize after exposure to acids.

Follow these tips to lower caries risk:

  • Encourage children to drink water
    • Water is sugar-free, has no calories, and may contain fluoride to promote tooth health
    • Introduce a cup at six months
    • Drinks with carbohydrates (e.g. milk) only with meals. No soda.
    • Toddlers should not be given juice or other sugary drinks from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that allow them to drink easily throughout the day.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendations 2017

    • Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit for infants and children and has no essential role in healthy, balanced diets of children.
    • 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a part of the diet of children older than 1 year when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet. Fruit drinks are not nutritionally equivalent to fruit juice.
    • Excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition (overnutrition and undernutrition), diarrhea, abdominal distention, and tooth decay.
    • Juice should be limited to:
      • Toddlers: 4 ounces per day or less
      • Children 4-6 years: 4 to 6 oz per day
      • Children 7-18 years: 8 oz per day
    • Families should be educated that human milk and/or infant formula is sufficient for infants and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.

References

Heyman MB, Abrams SA, Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations. AAP SECTION ON GASTROENTEROLOGY, HEPATOLOGY, AND NUTRITION, COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION. Pediatrics. 2017: 139(6).