Fruit juices and smoothies have ‘unacceptably high’ sugar content

The next time you offer your children a healthy smoothie instead of a soda, you may want to remember that it could contain as much as 13 g/100 ml, equivalent to around 2.5 tsps in a 3.5-oz serving, or approximately two thirds to a half of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake.

High sugar smoothies

Some smoothies have exceptionally high sugar content that are bad for your teeth.

New research, published in the online journal BMJ Open, describes the sugar content of fruit drinks, natural juices and smoothies, in particular, as “unacceptably high.”

According to Yale Health, the average American consumes around 22 tsps of added sugar every day; for teens, the figure is closer to 34. One 12-oz can of soda contains 10 tsps of sugar.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend no more than 3-4 tsps of sugar a day for children, and 5 tsps for teens.

In the UK, guidelines recommend a maximum of 19 g, or just under 4 tsps for children aged 4-6 years, and 24 g at age 7-10 years, or just under 5 tsps, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

As awareness spreads about the impact of sweetened drinks on weight gain and tooth decay, many people are turning to fruit juices and smoothies as healthy alternatives to sodas, iced tea and other favorites.

Even 100% juice is not guilt-free

However, even 100% fruit juice is not as innocent as it seems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend not giving juice to infants under 6 months, and children aged 1-6 should have no more than 4-6 oz, or one half to three quarters of a cup. The recommended amount for 7-18 year-olds is 8-12 oz, or 1-2 cups.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and the University of London in the UK assessed the sugar content per 100 ml (approximately 3.5 oz) of fruit juice drinks, 100% natural juices, and smoothies aimed at children, using information from the pack label.

They checked the amount of “free” sugars in 203 standard portion sizes (200 ml, or around 7 oz) of UK-branded and store-brand products.

Free sugars include glucose, fructose, sucrose and table sugar, which are added by the producer, as well as naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Although fructose occurs naturally in fruit, when consumed as a drink, it can cause dental caries – as can any other sugar.

There are other naturally occurring sugars in whole fruits and vegetables, which the body metabolizes differently, and they act to curb energy intake. These were not included.

Over 40% of drinks contain 4 tsps of sugar

The sugar content in the drinks surveyed ranged from 0-16 g/100 ml, and the average was 7 g/100 ml, or around 1.5 tsps. It was significantly higher in pure fruit juices and smoothies.

The average sugar content of the 21 pure fruit juices assessed in the survey was as high as 10.7 g/100 ml or just over 2 tsps, and in the 24 smoothies, it was up to 13 g/100 ml, or just over 2.5 tsps. Over 40% of all the products, contained 19 g, or around 4 tsps, of free sugars, the maximum daily amount recommended for children.

Around 78 products contained zero-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame. While classed as safe, health experts say they are not helping children’s taste buds to get used to a less sweet diet.

Based on the findings, the team recommends:

  • Not counting fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies with a high free sugar content as one of the “5 a day”
  • Consuming fruit whole, not as juice
  • Diluting fruit juice with water or opting for unsweetened juices, and allowing these only during meals
  • Limiting intake to 150 ml/day, or just over 5 oz
  • Requiring manufacturers to stop adding unnecessary sugars to fruit drinks, juices and smoothies, if necessary, through government intervention.

Medical News Today asked Dr. Simon Capewell, who led the research, whether, in the light of these findings, we should reduce our fruit intake, too.

He told us:

“No. Fruit is very good for the health. Vegetables likewise. Indeed, we would recommend unlimited fruit and vegetables.”

Whole fruit has a higher fiber content than juice, it takes longer to consume, it is more satisfying, and there is evidence that the body metabolizes whole fruit in a different way, adjusting its energy intake more appropriately than it does after drinking juice.

A limitation of the study was that researchers only looked at products that are available in supermarkets, and there may be alternatives with a lower sugar content.

MNT recently reported on research suggesting that health warnings on sugary drinks could encourage parents to think twice about getting them for their children.

In summary, “ALL SMOOTHIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL”. As a concerned parents, wanting your children to have healthy bodies and teeth, the key here is quite simple. Smoothies can be incredibly healthy and delicious, but carefully choosing the ingredients without added sugar such as fruit juices, and sticking to fresh all natural fruit can have a profound effect in healthy teeth development.
Dr. Krape Cosmetic and Specialized Dentistry wants to see all their young patients have a bright smile for years to come.
Schedule your family’s routine dental cleaning and check-ups can save you much expense and grief in the long run.
Call today: 561-257-2580

Do You Have These 5 Bad Dental Habits? Cosmetic Dentist – Jupiter

Sometimes you just do not realize what can affect your teeth. You believe you practice good dental care: You brush your teeth, floss fairly regularly, and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Good for you! But you’re probably also engaging in one or more bad habits that can undermine the good ones and compromise your dental health. Here’s our list of five of the worst dental habits, why they’re harmful, and what you can do to stop them.

cosmetic dentist jupiter florida

Girl with beautiful white teeth on reception at the doctor dentist.

DENTAL CARE PROBLEM 1: CRUNCHING, SUCKING, AND SIPPING
You slurp down an ice-cold soda or iced tea and then crunch, crunch, crunch the leftover ice. What’s the harm? The brittleness and cold temperature of ice cubes can actually cause teeth to fracture. They can cause microscopic cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could lead to bigger dental problems over time. Crushed ice is less harmful than bigger cubes, but it still doesn’t get the blessing of most dentists.

Right up there with ice cubes are popcorn kernels, which can also put undue stress on a tooth and cause it to fracture. Some people keep the pits of fruit such as peaches, apricots, and plums in their mouth to suck on and then crunch on.
Sipping sugary soda throughout the day is another bad habit, research suggests. The constant exposure to sweet and acidic beverages can foster tooth decay.

Be mindful of these practices when you eat or drink. Switch to crushed ice in drinks and when eating snacks eat something that’s healthier to chew, such as baby carrots. Sip soda through a straw to minimize soda exposure to your teeth. Be sure the straw is positioned toward the back of the mouth, not resting against your teeth.

DENTAL CARE PROBLEM 2: USING TEETH AS TOOLS

Dentists report that patients rely on their teeth for a number of odd jobs: to tear open a bag of potato chips, uncap a bottle of nail polish, pull out a watch stem, straighten a bent fork tine, or rip a price tag off a piece of clothing. This can be hard on your teeth, traumatizing them or causing the edge of a weakened tooth to chip off or even fracture.

Think about what you’re putting in your mouth before you use your teeth as tools. And keep simple real tools such as a scissors and pliers handy to do the dirty work and let you maintain good dental health.

Dental Care Problem 3: Grinding Your Teeth

Whether you grind your teeth during the day, at night, or both day and night, it wears them down. Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouth guard for teeth grinding at night. Custom models made by your dentist cost more than over-the-counter ones, but they generally fit better and work better, too. Sometimes, it helps simply to be aware that you are grinding your teeth. If it is caused by stress, consider an exercise program or counseling.

You may also want to try cutting back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine; reduce or avoid alcohol consumption; don’t chew on pencils or anything else that isn’t food; if you notice that you clench or grind your teeth during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth to train your jaw muscles to relax; and, relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek, in front of the earlobe.

Dental Care Problem 4: Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush

Some people think the firmer the toothbrush, the better. This isn’t so, especially for older adults. With age, the gums push back and the roots of the teeth become exposed, often increasing sensitivity. The root is covered with cementum, which is worn away more easily than enamel. A brush with too-firm bristles may irritate the gums and lead to sensitive teeth.

Ask your dentist or hygienist what toothbrush might be best to maintain your dental health.

Dental Care Problem 5: Not Brushing, Flossing, or Rinsing Properly

Some people brush, floss, and rinse their teeth regularly, but not often enough. You should aim to brush twice a day, and be sure to replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three or four months.

Flossing teeth should be done daily, too. If you aren’t sure if you floss properly — and dentists say many people aren’t — ask your dentist or your hygienist for a demonstration on your next visit.

Antiseptic rinses help get rid of bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath. Fluoride rinses help prevent tooth decay. Dentists recommend rinsing once or twice a day.

You may find a powered toothbrush better, especially if you have hand, arm, or shoulder problems that make manual brushing difficult. If you have children, be sure to buy them child-sized brushes so they fit their hands and mouth, and are easier to use.

Dr. Krape Cosmetic and Specialized Dentistry of Jupiter can determine and may suggest additional remedies that can protect your teeth and gums from further damage. Always be sure to schedule routine cleaning and exams that can prevent conditions that may become irreversible.

Serving: Jupiter, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach, Florida and surrounding areas.

Published by: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits