An article from 2012 in the British newspaper The Telegraph, raised the question of whether the increasing popularity of smoothies and fruit juice drinks, especially for children, may be too much of a good thing gone wrong. It seems that, with adults making an effort to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in their children’s diets, the use of these increasingly popular drinks has had an unintended consequence – leading to increased tooth decay among kids in the UK.
Dental side-effects of fruit juice and smoothies
“An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph reveals the acid levels of popular juice drinks consumed by millions of households – including one found to be more acidic than vinegar. Dr Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, said 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,” the article explained.
“Dr Harley said 50 per cent of five-year-olds now have signs of damage to their tooth enamel caused by excess acid in their diet.”
While trying to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet of you family is a very good idea, it appears that too many parents have employed this easier work-around; using tasty fruit drinks and smoothies as a means of getting young people to accept these healthier foods in a liquid form. Of course, many adults have begun to do the same for themselves, enjoying the convenience of these drinks over eating fresh fruit and veggies.
Further, “Dentists said that rather than consuming fruit or fruit juices as a snack, they were better consumed at meal times or accompanied with something containing calcium, such as cheese, which neutralizes acid,” the article explained.
Avoid the “easy solution”
However, the high levels of acid in these types of drinks can also affect the tooth enamel of adults as well as children, leading to higher incidents of tooth decay in all age levels.
At the very least, you should drink water to rinse the acid from your teeth after each of these “liquid meal or snack substitutes”, and try to actually eat the fresh fruits and vegetables that have been found to be so beneficial to overall health whenever possible, instead.
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