Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How giving your children five-a-day can actually damage their teeth

You can't win!

Children who are encouraged to drink large amounts of fruit juice as part of their 'five a day' could be damaging their teeth, dentists have warned. They are concerned that health- conscious parents who regularly give their children juices and smoothies bursting with fruit could be doing long-term damage.

Kathy Harley, dean of the dental faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons, warned that half of five-year-olds had signs of wear to their tooth enamel. She has called on schools to offer milk or water to pupils during breaks instead of fruit juice, which has a high acid content.

Dental erosion, which is irreversible, is caused by acid attacking the surface of teeth – and citrus fruit juices in particular are very acidic. While fruit juices contain a range of vitamins that are good for your health, they are also often high in natural sugars, which cause tooth decay.

Miss Harley suggested parents should give their children fruit juice as a treat once a week, for example on Saturdays. The NHS recommends only one 150ml glass of fruit juice per day, which counts as one of the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

It suggests people drink the juice with a meal as this can help to reduce damage to the teeth.

Drinking more than one glass of juice a day does not count as more than one portion of fruit, as it does not contain the fibre found in the whole fruit. Juicing or blending fruit releases the sugars inside and is worse for the teeth if drunk frequently. Some researchers also say drinking juice slowly can cause more damage to teeth.

Dentists have previously warned that, while tooth decay is less common as more children and adults brush their teeth regularly than in the past, dental erosion is a growing problem due to acidic drinks.

Research published last year by King's College London Dental Institute, based on a study of 1,000 people aged between 18 and 30, suggested eating an apple could be worse for teeth than drinking a fizzy drink because of the acid it contains.

Experts recommend people continue to eat fruit but drink water afterwards to wash away the acid or eat something containing calcium, such as cheese, which neutralises acid.

Damien Walmsley, an adviser to the British Dental Association said: 'If you are having fruit, keep it to meal times. That [may] go against the [recommendation of] five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but it is not a good idea snacking on it because of the continual drip, drip on to the tooth.'

The Department of Health said it had no plans to remove fruit juice from the five-a-day. A spokesman said: 'It contains nutrients, including vitamins which are important as part of a healthy, balanced diet.'


Who needs Viagra? Scientists claim impotence can be cured permanently with sonic blasts

This sounds like very good news, pasrticularly for older men

It seems an unlikely treatment, but impotent men are being offered what is claimed to be the first permanent cure for their condition – sonic blasts applied to the affected area.

The sound-wave treatment is being hailed as an alternative to drugs such as Viagra and Cialis.

But while medication treats symptoms, the new sonic therapy is said to tackle the cause.

Erectile dysfunction, which affects up to a quarter of men over 40, is most commonly caused by the hardening of the arteries, restricting blood flow. But pioneers of the ED1000 treatment say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form.

Although the treatment sounds discomfiting – it involves directing pressurised sound waves directly on to the genitals – patients have been assured that it is pain-free.

Those undergoing the procedure – which involves 12 quarter-hour sessions over a nine-week period – are told to expect a tapping sensation as 100 blasts of sound waves are delivered each minute, followed by a tingling feeling afterwards.

Two years after the first trials, patients report that it has a long-lasting effect – although it is not understood why sound-waves have such an effect on the tissue that it begins producing new blood vessels.

Similar sonic waves are already used to destroy kidney stones, improve blood flow in heart muscle, and to ease the inflammation of joints.
Pioneers of the ED1000 treatment (pictured) say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form

Pioneers of the ED1000 treatment (pictured) say the vibrations encourage new blood vessels to form. It involves directing pressurised sound waves directly on to the genitals - but it is pain-free

Doctors in Israel used the same principles to pioneer the technique, but using lower-powered waves.

The treatment is now being offered in the UK for the first time at the private Spire Murrayfield hospital in Edinburgh. It charges £1,500, plus consultation fees, for the sessions.

Consultant urological surgeon Roland Donat, who began treating patients last month, said the procedure was a ‘revolution’ in the management of impotence. He said: ‘I read the pilot study and thought, if this works I really want it for my patients.

‘The ideal candidates are those who have a physical explanation for their impotence, such as hardened arteries or diabetes. It will not work if the problem is psychological or stress-related. But the results so far are really very encouraging. ‘Men can be very severely affected by impotence and it can lead to relationship or self-esteem problems.

‘The interesting thing is that the same device and technology is also being used to treat heart patients and those with leg ulcers.’

During initial trials in Israel, 20 men treated using sound-waves noted an improvement in their condition after around seven weeks.

Drugs such as Viagra can cost up to £8 a tablet, which adds up to a huge cost burden on the NHS.

The treatment will be offered at other clinics in Leeds and London’s Harley Street shortly.


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