Fried fruit is often suggested as a healthy alternative to snacking on chips and biscuits.
But dentists have warned that eating raisins may be worse for children’s teeth.
They say that dried fruit is packed with sugar, and that eating raisins in particular is like ‘gluing sugar to the teeth’ because of how sticky they are.
The news comes after a report released by the Royal College of Surgeons revealed that record numbers of under-fives are having rotten teeth removed.
Official advice from the British Dental Association advises parents to avoid "sugary snacks" but notes: "Raisins can be a problem too, as they tend to stick to teeth and attack enamel, so should be consumed after meals, rather than as a snack."
Ben Atkins from the British Dental Association told The Sunday Times that although crisps aimed at children often contain added sugar, normal crisps are "totally fine". Dentist Nicole Sturzenbaum told the paper that dried fruit is a "nightmare".
She said: "These snacks have definitely contributed to the problem [of child tooth decay], in particular within the cohort of health-conscious parents who aim to provide their children with a healthy diet."
Fruit often contains more sugar than some chocolate treats.
For example, an average-sized orange contains 23g of sugar – more than twice as much as a two-finger Kit Kat bar, which contains 10.8g.
Dried fruit is even more damaging because it sticks to teeth. There is 53g of sugar per 100g of dried apricots.