Dentists Issue Warning Over Fruit Juices
Parents are actively encouraged to give their children five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, but dentists have warned that some fruit juices, which count towards the 5 a day, can cause severe acid erosion and are therefore damaging to oral health.
Dentists are concerned that parents who are trying to provide their children with healthy drinks are unaware that the high levels of citric acid could actually be harming their children’s teeth and gums.
Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, warned that tooth wear was extremely common among children, with almost half of five year olds displaying signs of enamel damage. Harley has urged schools and parents to offer water and milk instead of fruit juice at break and lunch times. Fruit juice has a high acid content, which contributes to damage to the enamel and once the enamel becomes worn, the tooth is susceptible to further damage and the wear is irreversible.
The NHS recommends that children drink one glass of fruit juice per day to count towards their 5 a day, however, Harley recommends just one glass of fruit juice per week.
Some dental experts have also warned that eating whole fruits can be harmful for teeth. Researchers at King’s College London Dental Institute published a study last year that claimed that eating an apple was worse for the teeth than drinking a fizzy drink due to the high acid content.
Professor Damien Walmsley, adviser to the British Dental Association, said that it was advisable to eat fruit at mealtimes and restrict snacking on sugary and acidic foods to reduce the number of acid attacks during the day. Eating cheese or having a drink of milk or water after eating fruit is also beneficial to help neutralise acid in the mouth.
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