Tooth Tips for Later Life

An Apple a Day Keeps the Dentist Away!

Due to the recent hype about low-carb and low-sugar diets, many people are wondering whether they should cut down on the amount of fruit they eat. From a dental health point of view, surely all the sugar contained in fruit can't be good for your teeth? The truth is that eating certain types of fruit can actually be good for your dental health. Before you say goodbye to guavas and bananas for good, take a look at these four key facts.

Eating Fresh Fruit Could Protect Against Cavities

Researchers who studied the effect of diet on dental health found that people who consume fresh fruit usually have fewer cavities than people who don't. Whole fruit contains fibre, which could help to stimulate the flow of saliva. As well as helping to wash traces of food from your teeth, saliva also neutralises acids found naturally in fruit and produced by bacteria. Therefore, fibre-rich whole fruits, such as apples and pears, could help to protect you against cavities.

Fruit Juice is Something to Enjoy in Moderation

Unfortunately, fruit juice doesn't offer the same saliva-boosting benefits as whole fruit. Most juices contain very little fibre. Instead, they combine the less tooth-friendly parts of the fruit - the natural fruit sugars and acids - in a concentrated liquid. Some fruit juice manufacturers even add extra sugar to their products to make them taste sweeter. While enjoying a glass of fruit juice occasionally is unlikely to have a seriously detrimental effect on your dental health, it's a smart move to limit your consumption and drink through a straw to minimise contact between the juice and your teeth.

Wait to Brush After Eating Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, including lemons and limes, are very acidic. The natural acids in these fruits can temporarily weaken tooth enamel, which means that you could end up wearing the enamel away by brushing your teeth immediately after eating citrus fruits. Dentists usually recommend that you wait at least 30 minutes after eating citrus fruits or drinking orange juice before you brush your teeth.

Be Careful With Dried Fruit

Dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes, and apricots, are delicious snacks, which you can use as an alternative to chocolate or cookies as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. However, if you have dental fillings in your back teeth, you should be aware that these chewy treats can dislodge a loose filling. Traces of dried fruit can also stick to the chewing surfaces of molars, so you need to ensure you brush thoroughly every morning and evening to get rid of them. If you follow these tips, you can enjoy both dried and fresh fruit in a tooth-friendly way.