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News / May 19, 2008

Teeth take the rough with a smoothie

by Guy Hiscott

Dental experts are blasting the claim that fruit smoothies are a healthy option.

The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) is warning that if consumed too frequently they could cause an ‘erosion epidemic’.

The Foundation said that while fruit smoothies undoubtedly hold some benefits by aiding the consumption of fruit, the damage they could do to teeth could fair outweigh this.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, commented: ‘This is a very important issue and one that often gets overlooked.

‘Fruit smoothies are becoming increasingly popular and the fruit content can make them seem like a good idea. However, they contain very high levels of sugar and acid and so can do a lot of damage to the teeth.’

The comments are backed by the results of the National Dental Survey 2008, conducted by the BDHF and Oral B, which found that more than 30% of people think that fruit smoothies are actually good for the teeth.

Dr Carter continued: ‘While fruit smoothies can be a good way to get people to consume more fruit, the high concentration of sugar and acids means that they can do real damage to the teeth if sipped throughout the day.

‘Every time you sip on a fruit smoothie, your teeth are placed under acid attack for up to an hour, so constantly sipping on these drinks can cause the protective enamel to erode, causing pain and sensitivity. It can also lead to decay.

‘This is a particular risk for children. Parents often provide their child with fruit juice drinks thinking they are doing them good but, in reality, it is far better to keep them to mealtimes where possible.

‘Currently around half of children under five suffer with decayed teeth.’