‘Health juices’ damaging baby teeth

Fruit juices traditionally perceived as healthy are harming children’s teeth, a dentists’ group has warned.

Organic juices which combine sugar and fruit are eroding teeth, and half of UK parents are unaware that they can contain as much sugar as some fizzy drinks, a YouGov survey revealed.

Dr Philip Stemmer, a dentist at Teeth For Life, said: ‘Dental erosion caused by acidic fruit juices and squashes affects the whole surface of a tooth. Exposure daily will cause a progressive loss of enamel with the effect that the teeth shrink and crumble at the biting edge.

‘Even diet drinks which have no sugar in are very acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel.

‘While mothers and fathers think they are doing the best by their children by giving them “healthier” drinks, the acid in these drinks are wearing away the enamel.

‘I am seeing more and more children whose teeth have been damaged in this way.’

Dr Gordon Watkins of the British Dental Association’s health and science committee said: ‘It’s very difficult for parents. Fruit juices generally speaking are acidic and contain a considerable amount of sugar.

‘The safest drinks out there are water and milk. If you have got to use fruit juice to get enough fluid into your kids, dilute it as much as you can with water.’

He added: ‘So many parents buy these healthy snacks of dried fruit but drying it concentrates the sugar so much it’s almost like giving your child a jelly bean.’

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