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Bottled-juice and Teeth

Bottled-juice and Teeth 


Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya  


It is hard to expect people to turn their backs to hip and cool habits.  There was a time that it was sugar-loaded pop.  Now, it is bottled-juice.  More and more kids and adults are alike walking around with bottled-juice in their hands in the name of health and nutrition.  But, is bottled-juice good for your health?  Is it good for your teeth? 

Data released in UK indicates that dental problems have become the third most common reason for children who have been admitted to hospitals.  Laura Donnelly sees bottled-juice as one of the contributing causes.  Her main point was simplified in the following The Sunday Telegraph illustration on “what’s hidden inside a bottle of fruit juice.”

It is hard now to find someone who does not understand that sugar left on tooth surfaces provide suitable conditions for harmful bacteria to multiply into colonies.  But, do all people understand that excessive levels of mouth acidity can damage tooth enamel.   Not all people who resist sugar-loaded solid sweets reject sugar-loaded pop.  It is important to understand that pop is not only sugary, but is also acidic.  When both sugar and acid are present, damage to teeth will happen at a faster rate.  In children, the negative impact is faster and more severe as their teeth enamel is softer than adults.

Some people who have rejected pop due to sugar and acid content seem to be less critical on bottled-juice.  They need to realize that bottled-juice can be sugary and more acidic than pop.  More importantly, drinking bottled-juice in between meals make the situation worse by making mouth acidic.

Brushing teeth after an acidic drink may not be the smartest thing to do.  According to Professor Laurence Walsh, waiting at least half an hour before brushing will prevent more damage to already softened teeth.

You are not helpless.  Take ownership on your actions and habits. 

 • Remember that bottled-juice is not the very best drink available. 

 • Do not give your child bottled-juice as a pacifier. 

 • If you need to have a bottled-juice, have it with a meal. 

 • If you cannot control drinking bottled-juice in between meals, do not drink them over several hours.  

 • To reduce juice contact with teeth, whenever possible use a straw to drink bottled-juice. • Between meals, drinking tap water is a healthy choice. 

Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), April 2013

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