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Health and Well-being

Limit fruit juice for all children

September 18th, 2017

This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics  released new recommendations advising parents to limit fruit juice consumption for children of all ages. The recommendations advise that:

  • Infants should not drink juice AT ALL before the age of one year old, unless it is clinically indicated by a doctor.
  • Toddlers ages 1-3 should be restricted to no more than 4 ounces of juice daily.
  • Children ages 4-6  should be limited to 4-6 ounces of juice daily.
  • Children ages 7 and older should have no more than 8 ounces of juice each day.

Juice should be seen as a "treat" or extra. The high sugar content (whether it be natural, organic, or artificially flavored) and acidity greatly outweigh the minimal nutritional value.

It is crucial that toddlers not be given easy access to juice through the use of bottles or sippy cups; these types of containers allow them the convenience of consuming juice throughout the day. Repeated exposure to carbohydrates (sugars) can lead to tooth decay. Toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime and all children should brush their teeth before going to bed each night. Children should not have anything to eat or drink between brushing their teeth and going to bed besides water.

For parents who want their children to enjoy the taste the fruit and benefit from the nutrients that fruit provides, the best option is to consume actual whole (or mashed/blended) fresh fruit.

Health Benefits of Tea

January 7th, 2016

Since January is "National Hot Tea Month," it's the perfect time to extol the health benefits of tea. So brew a hot cup and read on!

Besides warming you up on these frigid January days, tea has health benefits that include treating cancer and cardiovascular disease and fighting against obesity and diabetes.

Much of the medicinal properties of tea are attributed to its antioxidant content, specifically the flavanoids/polyphenols known as catechins, which have the greatest concentration in green tea. Tea and its components are shown to have:

- Benefit cardiovascular systems -- promotes vasodilation of blood vessels, helps prevetn oxidant injury, and helps reduce coronary heart disease

- Benefit neurological systems -- may aid is treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia due to effects on beta-amyloid proteins

- Reduce of cancer risk -- triggers apoptosis (cell death) in prostate cancer cells, reduces risk of digestive system cancers

- Potentially negate the harmful effects of cigarette smoking

- Help lower blood pressure

- Battle obesity due to anti-adipogenic effects

- Aid in the prevention of diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis

- Benefit oral health -- inhibits bacteria that cause dental caries and periodontal disease, inhibits growth and development of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells

With all these positive effects, what's not to love about tea?! Well, there is the caveat that habitual tea drinking can lead to tooth discoloration and staining. While not totally preventable for heavy tea drinkers, drinking through a straw, having regular teeth cleanings by your dentist, and teeth whitening can all help combat this issue if it arises. And avoid sweetening your tea with sugar, which could lead to an increase in cavities -- especially if you are sipping frequently.

Drink up!

American Dental AssociationAcademy Of General Dentistry