Whole fruit and veg are as bad for teeth as juice, according to new research.

In a study, researchers at the Leeds Dental Institute found demineralisation of enamel was no greater among subjects drinking juice than among those eating raw fruit and veg.

Subjects either ate 35g of whole fruit and veg seven times a day, for two weeks, or drank juice derived from the same batch of produce for the same period.

They wore enamel slabs in their mouths that enabled scientists to evaluate demineralisation levels.

Many experts warn the high acid content in juice compared with whole produce is a specific cause of tooth decay. But these findings shed doubt on that.

Any greater erosion of enamel linked to juice was likely to be due to the way it was consumed and the frequency, said Prof Monty Duggal, head of paediatric dentistry at Leeds Dental Institute. "Many kids have an inactive lifestyle, with a glass of fruit juice by the side, which they swish."