Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you launch this campaign?
In our audience research, which included a statewide quantitative survey, 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. Given that juice has sugar and sugar causes cavities, especially in young children, we saw a need for education. That’s why in our campaign we ask that juice be limited to mealtimes
Are you recommending that people never drink juice?
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
What facts are this campaign based on?
We utilized nutrition labels and published nutrition facts. It is important to us that we represent the facts and only the facts. For example, we took an average of sugar content from 3 popular juice brands to draw our comparisons. We do not claim to be the source for these facts. We are making people aware of potential impacts to their health and asking them to seek more information. That’s why we’re asking, “what’s in your kid’s cup?”
Are there really 3 donuts in a bottle of orange juice or 2 donuts in a box of apple juice?
It’s important to note that we’re only talking about the sugar content in the donuts–and nothing else. If you are asking about only the sugar content, then yes, they have a similar amount.
What about 100% fruit juice?
Sugar comes in many forms and 100% fruit juice is different than juice with sugar added. However, it’s not how much sugar you put on the teeth; it’s how often the teeth are hit with sugar that causes cavities. Sugar fuels bacteria in your mouth that create acid. The acid eats through the enamel of teeth, leading to a cavity. Young children are especially vulnerable to cavities since the enamel on baby teeth is thin. Whether it be 100% fruit juice, which can still contain a lot of sugar (natural sugars), or a sugar-added juice drink, drinking it throughout the day provides a constant source of fuel for these cavity-causing bacteria.
Does eating 2 donuts have the same health benefits as drinking 6 oz of apple juice?
No. There are other nutritional items that influence what makes a food or drink healthy or not. We are only concentrating on the amount of sugar in the servings. Sugar fuels bacteria in your mouth that create acid that eats through the enamel of teeth; this is how cavities are formed.
What are the ADA recommendations?
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.
Does juice directly cause cavities?
Juice contains sugar. Sugar fuels bacteria in your mouth that creates acid that eats through the enamel of teeth; this is how cavities form.
Baby teeth are just going to fall out anyway, so does it really matter if they get cavities?
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.
Does it make a difference whether it’s tap or bottled water?
Most bottled waters do not contain fluoride. That’s one reason why tap water is so good for us—it 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.