In our last blog we talked about how sugary drinks are bad for your teeth and how water should be your go to choice to quench your thirst. These days people are more concerned with making healthy choices about what they put in their bodies. So lots of people are going to fruit and fruit juices as a tasty snack instead of candy and soft drinks.
But is it possible that this healthy choice could be hurting your smile?
At Overmeyer Family Dental, we are extremely concerned with you and your family’s oral health. And even though, we want you to make healthy snacking choices, we also want you to be aware the potential risks those snacks might pose to your smile.
Here in Orlando it borders on sacrilege to cast doubts on the greatness of citrus. It is true that citrus has wonderful health benefits. For one, citrus is a great source of Vitamin-C, which is an essential part of any healthy diet.
While you shouldn’t stop eating fruits like oranges and grapefruit, you do need to be careful. Citrus is high in acid, and acid is bad for your teeth. Citric acid weakens the enamel protecting your teeth. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to the bacteria that causes decay. This bacteria feeds on sugar, and guess what, citrus also contains sugar, especial sweet fruits like oranges.
What do I do to protect my teeth from citric acid?
Simple. Just like we said in our last blog, drink water. Drinking plenty of water when you snack on citrus will not only dilute the acid, it will wash it away and keep it from sitting on your teeth.
Brushing is good, too, but don’t do it right after eating citrus. As we mentioned above, citric acid weakens your tooth enamel, and brushing right after eating citrus could strip the enamel away, damaging your teeth. So just have a large glass of water and wait to brush.
Many people opt to get their Vitamin-C in liquid form. That seems like a good idea. Why not replace sugary sodas with something natural and healthy? The problem is that fruit juices really aren’t all that different than sodas. They are loaded with sugar and acid.
Squeezing the juice from fruit concentrates its natural sugar and acid, but removes the healthy fiber in the flesh of the fruit. This means you are increasing the tooth decay potential, while removing actual health benefits.
If you’re thirsty, just drink water. If you feel like you need some fruit, eat the actual fruit and save the fruit juice for a special treat.
Raisins have been a staple health food for years. Remember getting them in your Halloween bag from your more health conscious neighbor? And in your lunchbox from Mom? They are nature’s candy, right?
That’s the problem. Dried fruits like raisins are basically candy. Even though their sugar is natural, it is still sugar, and sugar is bad for your teeth. The bacteria the cause tooth decay love sugar, and they don’t care where it comes from.
The sugar itself, however, is not even the biggest concern. The real problem with dried fruits is that they are chewy and sticky. This means its hard to get the sugar off your teeth. Normally, your tongue and saliva do a pretty good job of getting sugary residue off your teeth, both sticky bits of raisins and similar dried fruits have a tendency to stay put.
You can fight the effects of sticky fruits by brushing, but don’t forget to floss, as well, because the sticky fruit particles love to hide between your teeth.
There is nothing better to sweeten your morning oatmeal than some berries. Blueberries and blackberries are healthy and delicious! But they can also be hard on your smile. Their dark colored juices have a bad habit of staining your teeth.
Have you ever gone blackberry picking, and then go around the with stained fingers for the rest of the week? Well, the same thing can happen to your teeth. So be sure to drink plenty of water when treating yourself to some fresh berries, and don’t forget to brush.
Another thing to look out for is seeds. Blackberries, in particular, have a tiny seeds that can get stuck in your teeth. They can cause irritation and even lead to gum inflammation and tooth decay. Brushing will help get rid of seeds, but flossing is a necessity.
If these foods are some of your favorites, don’t worry. you don’t have to completely cut them out of your diet. Simply exercise moderation and be aware of the risks fruit pose for your teeth. Drinking lots of water and practicing healthy oral hygiene routines will help protect your smile.
Professional cleanings and examinations are also essential for good oral health, so contact our office in Orlando today. Overmeyer Family Dental will provide the quality dental care you need to stay smiling.