'It Was Really Horrible': Mom Learns 5-Year-Old Son's Tooth Decay Is Due To Dried Fruit

| by Mackenzie Fleming

A U.K. mom assumed her son had inherited a “genetic dental problem” when she unexpectedly learned that dentists would have to remove one of the little boy’s teeth due to tooth decay.

Claire Donnelly said she doesn’t allow her 5-year-old son Stan to drink soda or fruit juice, or to eat a lot of candy. Because of this, Donnelly was shocked to hear that the problem with her son’s teeth could have been avoided and was likely the result of something she had been letting Stan consume. 

Donnelly was told by her dentist that the likely culprit for her son’s tooth decay was dried fruit. Not knowing that dried fruit can be as detrimental to teeth as candy, she blamed herself. 

“It was really horrible,” Donnelly told BBC. “One of the reasons it was so distressing is it was preventable and obviously as a parent your job is to do everything to look after them and keep them healthy so you can’t help thinking you’ve failed really.” 

Although the nutrient content in dried fruit is high due to reduced water content, the sticky sugars of the food can cause problems, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation. Dental issues arise when those sticky sugars of dried fruits such as raisins, dried apricots, dried mangos, etc., are left behind on the teeth, Lift Bump reported.

Thus, these seemingly-healthy snacks stick to the teeth longer and can cause damage, according to

Donnelly admitted that she used to be a bit of a “smug mum" due to her family's healthy diet, but she has now learned a hard and valuable lesson about oral hygiene, according to Lift Bump.

Tooth decay has become a common problem in England according to recent reports. One in three 5-year-olds in England has tooth decay, and it is the most common cause of hospital admissions for children ages 5 to 9, BBC reported.

Source: Lift Bump, BBC, Epoch Inspired
Photo credit: BBC, WikiCommons