Frequently Asked Questions
In our audience research, which included a statewide quantitative survey in 2014, we found that juice is a very common drink for young children. Eighty-seven percent of parents told us their child drinks juice several times a week. Fifty-five percent said juice is the most likely beverage their child drinks at any given time. Finally, seventy-two percent said they believe juice is healthy for their children. We have seen reductions in these numbers since that time as a result of the campaign. Given that juice is sugary and sugar causes cavities and water benefits oral health, especially in young children, we saw a need to spark change in homes and communities. This led to the creation of the Cavities Get Around campaign.
No. We are not recommending that parents never give their children juice. While whole fruit is best for children, we know that many parents consider juice healthy. We are recommending that juice is limited to mealtimes only. We feel it's best for parents to serve water at all other times, especially before bedtime. This will then limit the amount of time that cavity-causing sugar spends on a child’s teeth. Research shows a clear link between drinking sugary beverages and poor oral health as well as higher rates of diabetes and obesity, and diet related health problems. Source: Healthy Eating Research; building evidence to prevent childhood obesity (March 2013); American Academy of Pediatrics
Sugar comes in many forms and 100% fruit juice is different than juice with sugar added. Still, 100% fruit juice can contain a lot of natural sugars. Sugar fuels bacteria in mouths that create acid. Plus, 100% juice is acidic. The acid eats through the enamel of teeth, leading to a cavity. This is why juice should be limited to mealtimes.
Young children are especially vulnerable to cavities since the enamel on baby teeth is thin. It’s not how much sugar you put on the teeth; it’s how often the teeth are hit with sugar that causes cavities. When kids sip on sugary beverages throughout the day, cavity-causing bacteria have a constant source of fuel. Saliva produced during meals and water rinses away bacteria.
The ADA recognizes the dangers of anything other than formula, milk or water in bottles or sippy cups. Putting things like juice or soda in baby bottles or sippy cups can cause Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also recognize the link between juice and cavities in children.
Juice contains sugar. Sugar fuels bacteria in your mouth that creates acid that eats through the enamel of teeth; this is how cavities form. Children’s baby teeth are especially vulnerable to decay since the enamel on baby teeth is thin.
No. While whole fruit is best for children, many people still consider juice healthy. Juice should be limited to mealtimes only. It’s best for children to drink only water between meals and especially before bedtime. Giving children water between meals and at bedtime will limit the amount of time that cavity-causing sugar spends on their teeth. Research shows a clear link between drinking sugary beverages and poor oral health as well as higher rates of diabetes and obesity, and diet related health problems. In schools children should have access throughout the day to drinking water. We all have a responsibility here. Source: Healthy Eating Research; Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity (March 2013); American Academy of Pediatrics.
Yes, it matters! Baby teeth may fall out but the harmful bacteria in a child’s mouth does not go away. If the baby teeth are diseased, that same bacteria can then spread to the adult teeth. If this happens, it then sets up the child for a lifetime of oral health issues. Healthy baby teeth means healthy adult teeth.
Most bottled waters do not contain fluoride. Fluoride in tap water makes our teeth healthier and stronger.
In the U.S., all tap water intended for drinking is rigorously regulated by the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. The water must meet safety standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The established water-quality requirements are similar to those established by the EPA for public water supplies.