WHAT LOVES SUGAR just as much as kids? Cavity-causing bacteria. That’s why dental caries is the most common childhood disease. Whenever we eat or drink something sugary or acidic, our saliva needs half an hour to wash away the residue. It’s a good idea to limit sugar consumption to mealtimes and swap out sugary snacks with fruits and veggies.
We don’t recommend switching soda with fruit juice, because fruit juice is just as bad for a child’s teeth! Even milk contains sugar. Any drink that contains sugar can be very damaging to oral health if a child is left to sip on it between meals in a sippy cup or bottle. This kind of tooth decay is so common that it has nicknames: “baby bottle tooth decay” or “bottle rot.”
We’re not insisting that parents cut their kids off from sugar entirely, but try to restrict sugary drinks and treats to mealtimes and cut back overall. If a child needs a bottle or sippy cup to soothe them, fill it with water. It’s also essential to model good oral health habits for growing kids, like brushing and flossing and regular dentist appointments.