Fruit juices and smoothies causing ‘substantial tooth erosion’

Fruit juices and smoothies could be leading to irreversible damage to the nation’s teeth, the Oral Health Foundation has warned.

New research has found that two in five adults (43%) in the UK consume one or more fruit smoothies every day.

Some fruit juices and smoothies can contain up to four times the recommended daily amount of sugar, and  the acidity in fruit drinks can lead to substantial tooth erosion.

‘Fruit juices and smoothies are often sold as a healthy option, but while they may provide your body with a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, high levels of natural sugars and added sugars in drinks from concentrate in them can be bad news for your oral health,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said.

‘Every single time you eat or drink anything acidic, with a low pH level, the enamel on your teeth will soften and some of the tooth’s mineral content will be lost.

‘The saliva produced naturally will slowly neutralise these acids, however, by consuming sugars too often, your mouth will not have enough time to recover.’

 

Whole fruit only

More than half of fruit juices and smoothies in UK supermarkets and food outlets contain at least six teaspoons of sugar.

Some can contain up to four times the amount of sugar the World Health Organisation recommends an adult should consume in a day, a previous investigation found.

 

Fruit juices and smoothies coat the teeth with ‘sticky’ sugars which means the acid attack lasts for much longer than usual.

 

‘Fresh fruit is a vital part of your diet and provides you with the nutrients that are needed to stay healthy,’ dental hygienist and nutritionist, Juliette Reeves, said.

‘Our advice is to eat whole fruit only, and limit exposure to fruit juice.

‘Fresh fruit contains natural sugar, contains fibres, water and other fantastic nutrients, while highly acidic fruit drinks contain added sugars which are far more dangerous.

‘Try to limit acidic and sugary food and drinks to mealtimes only, and regularly visit your dentist or hygienist, as they can help diagnose and treat a series of problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.’