Smoothies and Fruit Juices: Are They Bad for the Teeth?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health

Studies have shown that smoothies and fruit juices actually have more sugar in them than a can of soda.

 

Although fruit juices are healthier for the body when compared to soda, they are not so healthy for our teeth. While fruit juices contain concentrated amounts of nutrients found in fruits, such as vitamins A and C and other oxidants, they also contain substances that can be harmful to our teeth.

 

This might be surprising for many people, but it is the truth. And It is not just sugar that causes damage to our teeth. We should also be wary of acid, usually found in soda drinks and wine, which can also be found in fruit juices.

 

ACID

The enamel on our teeth is more fragile than we think. It can easily be affected by the acid released by the bacteria found in the mouth, and it can wear down even faster by acids that are found in common fruit juices. Cranberry or lime fruit juices are more acidic than vinegar when consumed in high amounts. Orange juice, specifically, has been found to decrease tooth hardness and it can also roughen the surface of the teeth. When the tooth enamel is worn down, this can lead to sensitive teeth, tooth loss, and development of cavities.

 

SUGAR

Sugar is one of the most popular substances that are most harmful to our teeth. It is consumed by the bacteria in our mouth and it gets converted to acid, causing cavities and worn teeth. The bacteria can also irritate the gums, which later on can lead to gum disease and weakening of the teeth. Even some fruit juices that come in their pure form can contain large amounts of natural sugars that can also affect the teeth. This is why it has been found that a pure fruit juice can contain more sugar than a soda.

 

PREVENTION IS BEST

Most fruit juices are still nutritious when compared to soda, even when they have some harmful effects on the teeth. So, yes, you can still drink fruit juices and smoothies, but if you want to maintain a healthy oral health, you should do your part!

 

Here are some tips on how you can still enjoy the healthy goodness of these sweet drinks and at the same time, reduce the harm they do to your teeth:

 

*Drink your juice freshly. Leaving the beverage to sit will allow for the fermentation of sugar.

*Favour vegetables over fruit juices, or you can try and put at least two parts vegetable to one part fruit. You should avoid drinking citrus fruits as they are highly acidic.

*Make sure the fruit is ripe. Unripe fruits contain high amounts of acid.

*Yoghurt-based smoothies are great for reducing the acidity in your drink, but you should still be careful because there are many yoghurts that contain more sugar than you think. Coconut oil is a tooth-friendly ingredient as it has antibacterial properties.

*Use a straw when drinking and make sure to drink clean water afterward.

 

If you have any dental concerns, the dental professionals and staff at Midtown Dental will be more than happy to assist you! We hope to see you soon.

Oral Care: Tips for the Elderly

Dental Advice | Dental Care

Our dental health is connected to our entire body. Any bacteria that lives and grows in your mouth can travel to the other parts of your body, thus, can contribute to problems with our overall health. Aging is a part of life, but it does not mean that you can’t do it gracefully and in the healthiest way possible!

 

Here are some great dental tips that can help you enjoy your golden years with healthy, happy smiles:

 

BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY.

The common rule is you should clean your teeth at least twice a day. As you age, however, your mouth requires a little extra attention and time. After the age of 50, plaque builds up more quickly and it also becomes much more difficult to get rid of. This is why it is important to get in the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal. Make it a point to brush your teeth when you wake up and before going to bed. Consistent flossing is also essential and should be done after every meal.

 

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

An electric toothbrush that has soft bristles is great for all ages, but more especially for seniors. This type of toothbrush comes with a built-in timer that ensures you brush for the correct amount of time. It is also helpful for seniors with arthritis, as the brush itself will take care of all the brushing. There will be no more worry about the up-and-down circular motions needed in order to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums – the electric toothbrush will do it all for you!

 

USE MOUTHWASH.

If you are looking for a great way to prevent cavities and to slow the buildup of plaque, then you should use mouthwash! However, you should be careful and avoid using too much mouthwash – you might upset the pH balance in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash once a day just before you go to bed would suffice. When choosing a mouthwash, go for an alcohol-free option for older adults. Alcohol can contribute to dry mouth.

 

CLEAN YOUR DENTURES DAILY.

Just like our teeth, dentures should be cleaned every day. The only difference is dentures should not be cleaned with toothpaste. Toothpaste will only damage your dentures as it is abrasive. Use products that are specifically designed to clean dentures. Be sure to also give your mouth frequent breaks from wearing your dentures. Take them out each day to help maintain healthy gums.

 

If you are a senior or someone you love is, and you want the best dentists who can help you take care of senior dental health, setup an appointment with one of our dental professionals today!