Fruit: Good or Bad for Your Teeth?
Most people like eating fruit as part of a healthy lifestyle that provides you with vital nutrients that keep your body (and your teeth!) healthy. Fruits such as lemon, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit and strawberries are sweet, juicy, refreshing and contain a lot of Vitamin C. Despite their benefits, consuming excessive amounts of these foods can damage your teeth. Eating too much fruit every day can increase your risk for tooth decay.
What about fruit causes tooth decay?
While at first it might seem that sugar contained in fruit could be blamed for enamel and tooth damage, it is actually the acidity that causes a majority of the harm. As hard as tooth enamel is, it can be weakened and demineralized over time if exposed to high acid content. Since fruit and fruit juice have high acid content, consuming these foods will initially result in softening and discoloring of the enamel and eventually lead to decay. It is important to point out that different fruit will have a different impact on enamel erosion depending on the acid content.
There is no reason to give up fruit in order to prevent erosion or tooth decay. Health professionals will always support and advise eating fruit and veggies as long you take precautions and control the amount of acidic fruit in your diet.
A few tips to keep your teeth healthy while enjoying the benefits of Vitamin C:
- Do a little research on your favorite fruits, how acidic are they and what would be the safe amount to consume daily.
- Use a straw when drinking fruit juices. This will keep the acidity from coming in direct contact with your teeth.
- After eating fruit, rinse with water to dilute the acid in your mouth.
Also, wait at least 30 min before brushing your teeth to give your enamel time to reset.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to remineralize and strengthen your teeth.
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