Fruit snacks 'causing tooth decay'
Regularly snacking on fruit between meals could be increasingly responsible for tooth decay, a dental expert has suggested.
David Barlett, professor of prosthodontics at King's College London, reportedly warned that health-conscious people could be unwittingly exposing themselves to tooth erosion, unaware of the harm that habitual grazing on acidic fruit can cause.
Instead he urged that people confine their fruit intake to meal times to protect their tooth enamel from constant wear and give them time to recover.
He said the problem was particularly affecting wealthy men in a bid for a healthy lifestyle, but that the British in general eat more fruit than Europeans.
Speaking at the British Dental Conference in Manchester this week, he is reported as saying: "It's not what you eat. It's how you eat it.
"It's all about habits and frequency. People snack on fruit all day because they're told that fruit's good for you, but what you've got to do is modify the intake and keep it to meal times."
According to the latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, children from low-income families are twice as likely to have tooth decay, linked to poor diet and access to dental care.
It also found the number one reason for primary school-aged children being admitted to hospital in 2013-14 was to have multiple teeth taken out.
Some 12% of three-year-olds in England have decaying teeth as parents increasingly give their children sugary foods and drinks, Public Health England have also warned.