Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cavities in Young Children Skyrocket; Fruit Juice One Culprit

There's a sad front-page story ("Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities") in today's New York Times. The headline says it all, but even sadder is that these dental issues are, for the most part, avoidable.

Two of the handful of culprits are our society's fascination with incessant snacking (more on this later in the week) and the volume of fruit juices consumed by our kids. Remember, despite the omnipresent marketing espousing their benefits, fruit juices—even organic, 100 percent juices with no added sugars—are full of sugar that corrupt our kids' teeth and lead to sugar highs replete with ample wall-bouncing. (The fiber in intact fruits and vegetables slows the absorption of the sugars into our bloodstream.)

A family member who is in dental school relayed this information this morning:
"Kids are given such a high amount of juice in sippy cups that they fall asleep with it in their mouths, furthering the decay. Our pediatric professors recommend that we recommend water and no more than six to eight ounces of juice per day, depending on the age of the child."
To reiterate, water, by far, is the best option. (Vitaminwater® is not water.)

Here's the lead paragraph of the article; click here to read the entire story.
"In the surgical wing of the Center for Pediatric Dentistry at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Devon Koester, 2 ½ years old, was resting last month in his mother’s arms as an anesthesiologist held a bubble-gum-scented mask over his face to put him under. The doctors then took X-rays, which showed that 11 of his 20 baby teeth had cavities. Then his pediatric dentist extracted two incisors, performed a root canal on a molar, and gave the rest fillings and crowns."


Anonymous said...

Our local TV station did a story on teens and young adults sipping on popular sports drinks throughout the day, apparently at school, work and home. Same thing, terrible, unbelievable damage but to permanent teeth. Soaking eggs in cups of liquid showed how the acid eats away the outer tooth surfaces. It was shocking! The dentist featured was beside herself explaining the extent of the damage and the lifelong grief ahead for the patient. Thankfully, he was willing to be an example.

Chef Rob said...

Don't even get me started on Gatorade and the other sports drinks. Maybe the greatest marketing myth every created!

DDS Grand Rapids said...

Right. I agree with the points you have discussed. Fruit juice contains sugar. Yes, there are benefits of drinking it. However, fruit juice is not entirely safe and beneficial, and can harm your teeth in different ways.

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It teaches me a lot of information though.

Rati Mittal said...

Childhood cavities, also known as childhood tooth decay and childhood caries, are common in children all over the world. There are two main causes of cavities: poor dental hygiene and sugary diets. Cavities can be incredibly painful, often leading to tooth decay and childhood periodontitis if left untreated. Ensuring that children eat a balanced diet, embarking on a sound home oral care routine, and visiting the pediatric dentist biannually, are all crucial factors for both cavity prevention and excellent oral health. Also read some daily blogs on dental industry and importance of maintaining your oral care.