Recent health promotion campaigns have encouraged the public to consume at least five portions of fruit
and vegetables per day. Many see consuming fruit smoothies as a way of achieving this.
the potential or otherwise for fruit smoothies to bring about dental erosion.
This was an in vitro investigation in which five varieties of shop bought fruit smoothies, including a 'thickie' were
investigated, with respect to their initial pH, titratable acidity and effect upon exposure to the surface microhardness and
profile of extracted human teeth. In addition their performance was compared to negative (Volvic™ water) and positive (orange
juice) control drinks as well as a homemade smoothie, based upon the recipe of one of the commercially bought drinks, from
which ingredient omissions were made.
The majority of the drinks investigated had a baseline pH below
the critical pH of enamel (5.5) and required comparable volumes of 0.1M NaOH to raise their pH to neutrality as the positive
control. Only two drinks (Volvic™ still mineral water, the negative control, and the yoghurt, vanilla bean and honey 'thickie')
displayed a higher pH, though to neutralise the thickie, a lesser quantity of alkali addition was required. The immersion
of the tooth samples in the drinks brought about reductions in their surface hardness (expressed as a percentage change of
median hardness) but these were only significant (p <0.001) for the cranberry, blueberry and cherry fruit smoothie and
homemade strawberry and banana fruit smoothie. There was no reduction in surface hardness in the case of the teeth immersed
in the thickie. Omission of certain ingredients from the homemade smoothie affected the magnitude of surface hardness reductions
seen. With regard to the loss of surface contour of the tooth samples following immersion in the drinks, as assessed by depth
loss, there were significant differences between the drinks (p = 0.0064) with the thickie and negative control not causing
depth loss and the kiwi, apple and lime smoothie producing most depth loss (28.26 (5.45) μm).
the limitations of this study some fruit smoothies have the potential to bring about dental erosion if consumed irresponsibly.
This can be influenced by ingredient variations. In order to minimise the risk of developing dental erosion, without removing
the claimed nutritional benefits of their consumption, their consumption should be confined to mealtimes.