Acidity & Sugar Content of Popular Kids Drinks
Recent studies have shown that children are drinking too many fruit drinks & smoothies which are subsequently contributing to higher levels of tooth decay.
Many parents are unaware that these acidic drinks which are combined with high sugar levels can severely damage children’s teeth. These low pH levels can erode the surfaces of young teeth, making them more vulnerable and at a significantly higher risk of tooth decay. Many children are showing signs of damage to the teeth caused by excess acid in their diets.
Manufacturers are required to publish information about the nutritional contents of drinks on the labels of their products but not the acidity levels. The more acidic a drink is the higher the risk of tooth erosion which makes decay more likely.
Tooth enamel begins to be destroyed when acid levels in the mouth drop below 5.5 on the pH scale. For reference, 7 is neutral and 1 is a strong acid.
While water has a pH of 7, and milk is just below at 6.8, investigations have shown that many soft drinks have pH levels closer to that of vinegar, which has a pH of 2.9.
It is recommended that rather than consuming fruit or fruit juices as a snack, they are better to be consumed at meal times or accompanied with something containing Calcium, such as cheese, which neutralises acid.
Children should be encouraged to drink water afterwards to wash away some of the acid, but not to brush their teeth until at least an hour afterwards, as teeth are temporarily weakened by exposure to acid in the fruit drinks.
This article was created by Jillian Melloy, Practice Manager at Cherrybank Perth
Last updated January 29th, 2019