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Baby Juice Bottles


Posted on 11/22/2015 by Dr Mark Mutschler
Parents who come into my Portland, Oregon pediatric dental practice often tell me, “My baby loves juice and I just cannot take it away, so I water it down.”

These parents love their babies and want them to have all the good things in life. Juice is sweet and delicious and healthy too. Right?

Fruit juice is definitely sweet and babies love it but it is not very healthy for them. Some babies will get diarrhea from apple or grape juice and many will get cavities from drinking juice in their bottle at night.

Fruit juice has some small amount of vitamin C but it is better to get the vitamins from a slice of fruit than from the juice only. This is because the fruit has lots of fiber with the juice that fills them up and takes the sugar to the stomach without damaging the teeth.

Juice recommendations for my Portland parents:


•  Definitely no juice before 6 months.
•  Children should only drink milk or water before age 3.
•  Juice should only be in a cup, not a bottle or sippy cup.
•  Limit juice to avoid overweight kids.
•  Fruit juice in a bottle causes cavities.
•  Diarrhea is caused by excessive fruit juice.
•  Calcium-fortified juice should not be mixed with fluoride drops.

I joke that babies have to wait until 21 to drink beer but only wait until 3 to drink juice. This helps drive home the message that it is ok to wait for maturity for many things in life.

Although this article is specifically about fruit juice for babies, it also applies to all other sweet drinks such as Kool Aid, sport drinks like Gatorade, and especially soda. These sweet drinks all cause cavities and are especially bad if given to children in bottles.

Soda is one of the worst because it is sweet and fizzy. The carbonation fizz in any drink makes them acidic and acids dissolve teeth to cause cavities. Simply put, soda causes cavities.

Just remember that milk is the best for almost all children and that water is a wonderful drink that is healthy, cheap, and delicious! Just remember that water from your tap is the best: safe and environmentally responsible.
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