Teeth are one of the most important aspects of your body and your overall health, and it’s essential to take care of them with good oral hygiene practices. This means regular brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist in Lakeland twice a year. However, what you eat can also play an important role in keeping your teeth healthy and cavity-free. When it comes to fruit, could this healthy snack actually be bad for your teeth?
Sugar & Acid
Two of our teeths’ worst enemies are sugar and acid, and some of the most popular fruits contain high levels of both of these. When you eat foods that are high in sugars, even natural sugar like many fruits, bacteria in your mouth use those sugars to produce acid. This acid can weaken tooth enamel. Additionally, some fruits are both high in sugar and are naturally acidic, making them a double danger to teeth.
Signs of Weakened Enamel
When tooth enamel weakens, it leaves teeth at increased risk for decay and cavities. Some signs of weak enamel include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist in Lakeland.
Best Fruits for Teeth
When searching for the best fruits that will give you a boost of valuable nutrients and protect your teeth, consider choices that have high water content, such as apples, melons, and pears. Another surprising beneficial fruit is strawberries. Even though they’re bright red and can stain, they contain malic acid, which has been shown to help whiten enamel.
Worst Fruits for Teeth
Some of the worst fruits for teeth are probably obvious as they’re citrusy and may even make you pucker when you eat them. Others may come as a surprise. Two of the worst fruits for teeth are lemons and pineapple. Both of these sour snacks are acidic and damage enamel. Another fruit that can also be bad for teeth is bananas. Although bananas pack a valuable nutritional punch, they’re also high in starch. Starch can linger around in the mouth and between teeth, encouraging bacteria development.
Fruit vs. Fruit Juice
When it comes to choosing to get your vitamins through fruit or fruit juice, your dentist in Lakeland will always recommend whole fruits over juice. Fruit juice, even fresh-squeezed juice, usually contains higher levels of sugar and acid compared to raw, whole fruits.
Eating fruit is a necessary part of a healthy diet, and you should incorporate it into your meals. To help protect your teeth in the process, enjoy acidic or super sugary fruits in moderation and rinse your mouth with water afterward.