Fruit Juices and Smoothies: Are They Bad for Our Teeth?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just sugar that damages our teeth, but acid, too. Acid is usually found in frizzy drinks such as sodas, and wines. However, another source of acid would be… fruit juices. Yes, you read it correctly. Though fruit juices are healthy for the body, they might not be too healthy for our teeth. Fruit juice contains concentrated amounts of all nutrients found in fruits such as vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. However, they also contain other substances that are harmful to the teeth.
Sugar is one of the substances that are most harmful to the teeth. It is consumed by bacteria in the mouth and gets converted to acid – this causes cavities and wears away teeth. Dental plaque is what we call the build-up of these bacteria on the tooth surface. The bacteria also irritate the gums – this might lead to gum disease and can weaken the teeth, causing them to fall out. Even fruit juices that come in their pure form contain large amounts of natural sugars that also affect the teeth. In reality, a pure fruit juice might even contain more sugar than a soda.
The enamel on the teeth is more fragile than most of us think. It gets affected by the acid released by mouth bacteria, and it wears down even faster by acids found in common fruit juices. Lime or cranberry fruit juices can actually be more acidic than vinegar when consumed excessively. This can wear down tooth enamel, leading to sensitive teeth, cavities and tooth loss, eventually. Fruit juices, which are often used as a substitute for sodas especially for children, might even cause more damage as it is acidic. Orange juice, in particular, has been found to decrease tooth hardness and roughen the surface of the teeth which leave them more prone to cavities and plaque.
Some fruit juices are still nutritious compared to sodas, despite some harmful effects on the teeth. To prevent teeth damage, it is best to limit the consumption of fruit juices. You can also dilute the juice in water to decrease the amount of damage to the teeth. It is, of course, necessary to brush regularly, especially after drinking juice – this helps in controlling the levels of bacteria on the teeth. You may also drink fruit juices using straws to decrease the damage it can cause to the teeth.
For any dental concerns such as build-up of cavities and plaque, contact us. Here at Pickering Square Dental, we aim to solve any dental issues for our beloved patients.
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