The BDHF has raised fears about childrens dental health based on the reports findings

The BDHF has raised fears about childrens' dental health based on the report's findings

The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) has responded to a new government-commissioned report which has raised concerns that parents are risking their childrens' oral health by giving them sugary drinks and foods.

The study, carried out on behalf of the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency, found that a quarter of 12- to 18-month-old children drink fruit juices and soft drinks. Oral health charity the British Dental Health Foundation flagged that these consumption levels are rising among children.

"Of real concern to the foundation is the potential for an erosion explosion in children's teeth," said BDHF chief executive, Dr Nigel Carter. "Fruit juices are becoming increasingly popular and the fruit content can make them seem like a good idea. However, they contain very high levels of sugar and acid and so can do a lot of damage to the teeth."

Gavin Partington, the BSDA's director general repsonded, saying: "The biggest factor in determining dental health – bigger even than levels of sugar consumption – is how well you look after your teeth.  

"It is perfectly possible for children to enjoy soft drinks alongside good dental health."

He added: "Like all food and drink, soft drinks should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle."