Skip to main content

Sip smarter: the truth about fruit drinks

Young kids drink too many sugary fruit drinks. These drinks often claim to be natural, but they are just as unhealthy as soda. Avoid sugary beverages like soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and flavored waters. A better choice is water or 100% juice. Because juice is naturally high in sugar, however, limit it to 1 serving a day.

How can you tell if a beverage is 100% juice? Choose beverages that say “100% juice” on the label. Unlike 100% juice, “fruit drinks” may include a mix of ingredients including some juice, water, flavorings, added sugars, or other sweeteners. Always check the ingredient list on the label. If sugar or any other sweeteners are on the ingredient list, put it back on the shelf.

Any type of sugar can cause tooth decay (also called cavities) over time. However, sweetened beverages are especially bad for your teeth and are a leading cause of tooth decay in children. Sugars from sweet drinks stick to the tooth’s surface and attract harmful bacteria that wear down the surface of the tooth over time. This can cause serious problems, including pain, infection, and tooth loss.

Another good way to help prevent tooth decay: Have your child drink some water after finishing their juice. Water helps wash away the harmful acids and bacteria that attack teeth.