Is Fruit Bad for Your Teeth?
We all know fruit is delicious and healthy, but some fruits may come with some surprising effects on your smile. While most fruits can help reduce your craving for sweets, clean plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath, some fruits contain high amounts of natural sugars and acids that aren’t so friendly. Let’s discover how to enjoy the goodness of fruit without harming your teeth.
How do fruit sugars and acid affect our teeth?
While fruits contain a myriad of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants our bodies need, they also contain natural sugars and acid that can leave our teeth vulnerable to sensitivity, tooth decay, and cavities.
When you eat sugars of any kind, including the natural sugars in fruit, it interacts with the bacteria in our mouths to produce acid that can erode our tooth enamel. It also produces plaque, which sticks to teeth and keeps the acid in place for longer periods of time, which can cause further damage.
What about berries?
Berries are some of the most delicious and healthy foods around. They’re also some of the most acidic foods out there. Plus, eating too many berries at one time can also stain your teeth.
However, berries provide so many health benefits – including antioxidants, vitamin C, dietary fiber and more – that they are an essential part of a healthy diet. To best enjoy berries and keep your teeth healthy, try food pairings that help reduce acid erosion or rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after eating.
Why is fruit juice bad for teeth?
As people try to live healthier, many swap sugary sodas for fruit juice. However, many fruit juices contain roughly the same amount of sugar as sodas and energy drinks, and grape and apple juices are even sweeter! Add in the fruit juice acids, especially from orange juice or lemonade, and your teeth can face a double whammy.
But this doesn’t mean you have to cut the juice out entirely. Fruit juice provides essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to stay healthy. So, if you do drink fruit juice, use a straw, enjoy it with a meal, drink it all in one sitting (rather than sipping on it for hours) or swish your mouth with water immediately after drinking to dilute the leftover sugar and acid and protect your teeth.
Everything in moderation
There’s no doubt fruit offers health benefits that far outweigh sugary or processed foods. Enjoying berries, apples, peaches, and other fruits that are naturally low in acid and sugar can help you stay healthy, manage your weight, and ensure your body is getting plenty of the essential daily vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants we need, without harming our teeth. And even though other fruits may contain high levels of natural sugar or acid – like pineapples, oranges, grapes, limes or mango – you can still enjoy them in moderation and take steps to lessen or neutralize their impact on your teeth. For more tips to minimize your risk of tooth decay, contact Smith Orthodontics today.