At the moment a 150ml glass of fruit juice can be counted towards your five a day but just recently the British Dental Health Foundation has advised that fruit juices are detrimental to dental health. It’s been discovered that many fruit juices aimed at children have at least 6 teaspoons of sugar and often come in cartons larger than the recommended portion size. In addition, many people are opting to drink fruit smoothies as they are marketed as being healthy due to the considerable fruit content. Unfortunately these also contain very high levels of sugar, as well as acid from the fruit and can do considerable damage to teeth.
Even though fruit juices can be a good way to consume more fruit, the high levels of acid and sugar often mean they can be bad for your dental health, particularly if you like to sip them over a long period of time. Smoothies tend to be a lot thicker and are prone to sticking to the teeth which enables sugar to come into contact with teeth for longer periods of time. Every time you have a fruit smoothie your teeth will be softened by acid in your mouth for up to an hour afterwards.
As a result, the British Dental Health Foundation is supporting Action on Sugar’s recommendations to remove fruit juice from the current guidelines for getting plenty of fruit and vegetables every day. They feel recommending fruit juice sends the wrong message to parents and could ultimately result in higher levels of childhood tooth decay.
Parents often provide children with fruit juice in between meals in the belief that they are giving them something that is relatively healthy. However if you do want to give your child a fruit juice or enjoy one yourself then it is best to do so as part of a meal. In general it is better to stick to giving children water or milk to drink, and to encourage them to eat the whole fruit rather than just the juice.
If you or another family member dolike to drink a lot of fruit juice and have not been to a dentist in a while then now might be a great time to book that check-up. Dr Zaki Bashir can assess the condition of your teeth and gums and will carefully check each tooth for any early signs of cavities. This is a visual examination, although he may gently probe the surface of each tooth to check for any softness in your tooth enamel.
Sometimes it is possible to reverse the early effects of acid erosion with fluoride treatments, but if a cavity has already begun to develop then it is much easier and cheaper to get it filled as soon as possible. It’s quite likely your Bromley dentist will recommend white fillings to mend any cavities as these are strong, and once in place are nearly invisible. As well as being cheaper to fill, early treatment reduces the possibility of more extensive tooth infections that can be pretty uncomfortable and which may require more extensive treatment such as root canal therapy to put right.