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Oral Decay in Our Young: Mountain Dew Mouth in American Children

By Susan Cody HERWriter Guide
 
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Oral Decay in Our Young: Mountain Dew Mouth in American Children 5 5 2
American young with oral decay and Mountain Dew Mouth
Auremar/PhotoSpin

I've read several articles and have seen a feature on the issue of "Mountain Dew Mouth" on television in the past few years.

The expression "Mountain Dew Mouth" has come primarily from the Appalachian areas of the United States.

Here, children are given this high-sugar, highly caffeinated soda pop by the time they can sit up alone and roll around on the floor.

Why Mountain Dew? Because it's popular in these regions, cheap and keeps children quiet as they suck it from baby bottles when they are as young as 6 months old.

Their parents remain (or prefer to remain) ignorant of the damage this soda is doing to their children, including allowing far too much caffeine in their systems, potential bone damage and above all, causing teeth to rot in toddlers as young as age two.

Lemon and lime drinks are particularly damaging to teeth and Mountain Dew has both flavors.

“Citric acid is in a lot of lemon- or lime-flavored beverages, and all carbonated beverages have phosphoric acid. Acids are what erode the teeth.”

Many dentists have made it their mission to educate parents and family members of the danger of exposing young children to such an unhealthy diet and have given their services for free to help thousands of toddlers and children a chance at good dental health.

They have removed rotting teeth and repaired gums and damaged teeth so that these children can grow into adults that enjoy good dental health.

But in many cases, these programs don't work if parents refuse to carry on good dental hygiene once the experts have gone and they are left to their own devices.

Experts note that Mountain Dew is cheaper than milk.

According to the organization Public Health Law Research, the issue of rotting teeth and mouths in areas of West Virginia is so bad that legal action may be necessary, in addition to education.

They are proposing:

•Implementation of an excise tax on soda.
West Virginia already has that but it’s not very high. The only state that really has the excise tax that makes money is Arkansas. Arkansas has an excise tax that brings in over $40 million a year which goes to their Medicaid program.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Marielaina Perrone DDS Blogger

Thanks for spreading the word about bad habits we are teaching our children. Good dental health needs to start at a young age.

January 29, 2013 - 8:01pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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