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Fruit juices can damage teeth of children

world Updated: Aug 03, 2007 13:09 IST

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Children who drink fruit juices regularly should go for dental check-ups often because juices could damage their teeth, a British dentist has said.

Organic juices that combine sugar and fruit are the worst culprits in teeth erosion. Dental erosion caused by acidic fruit juices and squashes affects the whole surface of a tooth, the researcher said.

Daily exposure can cause a progressive loss of enamel - the outer layer of the exposed tooth - with the effect that the teeth shrink and crumble at the biting edge, reported the online edition of BBC News.

Enamel is a hard, thin, translucent layer of calcified substance that covers and protects the dentin (the main portion of the tooth structure) at the crown of the tooth.

Even diet drinks that have no sugar are very acidic and can dissolve tooth enamel.

"While mothers and fathers think they are doing the best for their children by giving them healthier drinks, the acid in these drinks are wearing away the enamel," Philip Stemmer, a dentist, said.

"I am seeing more and more children whose teeth have been damaged in this way."

Stemmer said parents should restrict children to one glass of fruit juice or full-sugar cordial a day. He advised parents to try and combine acidic drinks with meal times and give the child a straw to drink soft drinks through.

Parents should also supervise teeth brushing to ensure it is thorough and use toothpaste that contains fluoride. One should wait for at least 30 minutes after drinking sugary or acidic drinks to brush because the teeth will have been softened by the sugar and one might brush away the tooth itself.