Water accounts for only a quarter of liquids drunk by five to nine-year-olds, while plain milk makes up only 10 per cent. ‘Diet’ fizzy drinks make up 30 per cent of overall consumption.
The survey, commissioned by the Natural Hydration Council which is funded by the bottled water industry, comes after the Royal College of Surgeons last week warned that tooth extractions among under-fives had increased 24 per cent in a decade. Dr Emma Derbyshire, nutritionist and adviser to the council, said: ‘Public Health England recommends adults and children should swap sugary drinks for healthier alternatives, such as water.
‘As well as keeping the body functioning well, water is naturally sugar-free and so one of the best choices for our children’s teeth. While adults are drinking more water, encouraging children to hydrate more healthily continues to be an enormous challenge. Parents and schools can help children to drink more water by making it readily available throughout the day.’
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said last night: ‘It’s important that people know that diet drinks can still be damaging to your teeth.
‘Some of the ingredients in many of them, such as phosphoric acid, citric acid and tartaric acid, can be damaging and lead to dental erosion. The best drinks to look after your oral health are water and milk.’
© Daily Mail