Smoothies + Juices – Are they causing tooth decay?

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Smoothie

 

A balanced diet

Nowadays we are constantly reminded of the importance of eating enough fruit and vegetables. The statistics state that adults and children all need to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day in order to maintain optimum health.

These quantities can seem difficult to achieve however and to ensure that their children get enough fruit and vegetables many parents are turning to smoothies and juices in the hope that they can encourage little ones to consume enough of the good stuff.

According to a recent report though dentists are warning that although well intentioned this may in fact be misguided. Senior dentists are concerned that parents unwittingly risk causing tooth decay in their own children by giving them excessive quantities of fruit juices and smoothies.

High Acidity Levels of Fruit Juices

Fruit juices contains high levels of sugar and acidity and for this reason they can be damaging to teeth. A recent study shows that some of the most popular brands of fruit based drinks are as sugary as Coca-Cola and more acidic than vinegar.

Dentists are certainly not denying that eating fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet is necessary – they are instead questioning the means by which parents ensure that their children get enough fresh foods.

Dr Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons says that up to 50% of 5 year olds now have signs of damage to teeth as a result of acid in their diet and she believes these drinks are indeed a contributing factor.

The Alternatives

So what can you do if you are concerned that you are giving your own children too much fruit juice or smoothies?

Dr Harley states – ‘‘The only healthy drinks for teeth are milk and water. Children are having fruit drinks and smoothies several times a day when they should be considered a treat, something to have once a week’’.

Dr Harley believes that all schools should only offer milk and water for children and as a result incidences of dental cavities in children could be lowered.

So what do you give your children to drink? Have you considered that it’s not just sugary and fizzy drinks that may be contributing to tooth decay? Have your say over on Twitter or drop us a line on Facebook.

 

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