11 November 2014

The British Dental Health Foundation fully supports calls to remove fruit juices from the list of recommended five a day portions.

Action on Sugar discovered many children's juices contain at least six teaspoons of sugar and come in cartons larger than recommended.

Official advice currently says a 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice counts towards your five a day, but the British Dental Health Foundation advises that fruit juices are also detrimental to oral health.

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.

Every time you sip on a fruit smoothie your teeth are placed under acid attack for up to an hour. Constantly sipping on these drinks can cause damage, damage Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, believes can be reduced with a change in the guidelines.

Dr Carter said: "While fruit juices 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. Smoothies are thick and stick to teeth, leaving sugar in contact with teeth for longer. As a nation we are becoming more aware of the problems caused by fruit juices and smoothies, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

"That is why we fully support the recommendations put forward by Action on Sugar to remove fruit juices from daily guidance. It sends out the wrong message and will ultimately contribute to childhood tooth decay.

"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. Three year-olds and five year-olds have signs of visible decay, so it is important we continue to educate parents on what is good for their children's teeth.

"Water and milk are the best drinks you can give them. Remember it is how often children have sugary foods and drinks that causes the problem. By following this message, and the British Dental Health Foundation's other key messages of brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend you can help to reduce their risk of suffering oral health problems."