Dentists Warn to be Wary of Smoothies and Juices
Parents are continually being informed of the virtues of ensuring that their children have enough fruit on a daily basis and a large proportion of parents are facilitating this through giving their children fruit juice and smoothies.
According to a report in the Telegraph, however, dentists are warning parents that they risk rotting their children’s teeth by “misguidedly” giving their children too much fruit juice, which has a high sugar content. Senior dentists are becoming increasingly concerned on the back of findings that dental problems have become the third most prevalent reason for children to be admitted into hospital.
High Acid Content of Fruit Juices & Smoothies
The biggest problem relating to the drinking of fruit juices and damage to children’s teeth is the acidity level of these types of drinks and, following research from the Sunday Telegraph, some fruit juices available on the market and drunk by millions of households across the UK are actually more acidic than vinegar – a statistic that is highly alarming according to leading dentists.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Dr Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, stated, “Many parents encouraged their children to drink smoothies and juices every day, unaware that the combination of high acid levels and sugar content can destroy young teeth.” It is clear that children need fruit and vegetables in their diet but dentists are questioning whether fruit juice and fruit based smoothies are a suitable means of achieving this.
Dental problems in children are now becoming increasingly common and Dr Harley reveal that some 50% of five-year-olds now exhibit signs of damaged tooth enamel which has been caused by an excess of acid in their diets. Speaking to the Telegraph, 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 these should be considered as a treat, something to have once a week.
She went on to add, “The dental needs are greatest in areas of social deprivation but there are also a lot of cases in every social group where parents are trying to do the right thing, but are acting misguidedly, thinking that the juices and smoothies are the best thing.”
With all this in mind, it is clear that parents have a difficult job in ensuring that their children have suitable levels of fruit in vegetables in their diet but dentists are suggesting that they err on the side of caution and check the sugar content of fruit juices prior to letting their children drink these types of refreshments with regularity.