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Published on March 22, 2012

Could ‘Five a Day’ be damaging your children’s health?

As we all know and hear about in our day to day lives, we must consume our ‘five a day’ to be healthy individuals. Reminders of this are plastered over food product packaging, non-stop adverts using the slogan as a USP, and TV programmes like ‘The Biggest Loser’ reminding us why we should listen. But has anyone stopped and thought about the effects of this health drive on our teeth?

Picture the scenario, health-driven mums feeding their kids fruit juices and smoothies at any given opportunity to make sure their little ones are meeting their ‘five a day’ quota. This scenario isn’t hard to imagine, as no doubt it happens all the time, and who can blame the parents, they are only doing what society tells them.  The real question is, do these parents understand the long-term damages which can occur from acidic drinks i.e. dental erosion?

The NHS recommends only one 150ml glass of fruit juice per day, which counts as one of the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. But, dental experts are particularly concerned with the idea of snacking throughout the day and consuming sugary, fruit drinks which expose our teeth to damaging acid.

As Damien Walmsley, an adviser to the British Dental Association said: ‘If you are having fruit, keep it to meal times. That [may] go against the [recommendation of] five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but it is not a good idea snacking on it because of the continual drip, drip on to the tooth.’

Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, also warned of the problems acidic drinks can lead to, stating that half of five-year-olds had signs of wear to their tooth enamel.

Dentists are not proposing we should give up our ‘five a day’, healthy eating habits but instead eating fruit and washing it down with water to reduce the effects of acid erosion. The health of our teeth is just as important as the health of the rest of our bodies, let’s face it we don’t want our kids to have lost all of their teeth by the time they get to the age of 40. This debate gives us some food for thought, should we be giving our children fruit drinks for nutritional benefits in spite of long-term dental decay or instead cut down on sugary, acidic drinks to lessen the effects of acid erosion?

Let us know what you think by commenting below or tweeting us @stockdalemartin.

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2 comments on “Could ‘Five a Day’ be damaging your children’s health?”

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  2. Fogbeültetés, fog implantátum, Dental Implants on May 6th, 2012 at 12:07 PM
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  4. StockdaleMartin on May 8th, 2012 at 9:52 AM

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