Health-conscious parents are "misguidedly" letting their children's teeth rot by giving them too many fruit smoothies and juice drinks, senior dentists have warned.
By Laura Donnelly,
The concerns were raised as official figures disclosed that dental problems have become the third most common reason for children to be admitted to hospital.
An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph reveals the acid levels of popular juice drinks consumed by millions of households – including one found to be more acidic than vinegar.
Dr Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, said many parents encouraged their children to drink smoothies and juices every day, unaware that the combination of high acid levels and sugar content can destroy young teeth.
Instead of giving children the apparently healthy snack of fruit juice and a box of raisins, it would be better for their teeth if they were given a glass of water and a handful of chocolate buttons, she said.
Manufacturers are required to publish information about the nutritional content of drinks on the label – but not their levels of acid, which can erode the surface of teeth, making decay more likely.