Dental Health: Should You Fear Fruit?

Everyone knows that fruit is good for you, but did you know it could also be causing secret damage to your dental health? Fruit is served in many different ways and due to high sugar levels, which help to feed harmful bacteria in your mouth, the way you consume fruit can have a terrible effect on your teeth. 

Fruit Juice

While it might taste great, fruit juice is basically fruit with most of the goodness removed. When you extract juice from a fruit, you are left with fruit flavoured sugary water, which helps to erode your teeth. Because of this, The Department of Health recommends that fruit juice should only be consumed occasionally, with the Australian Dental Association recommending that parents dilute their child's fruit juice down with water in a 50:50 mix, to help prevent tooth decay.

Canned Fruit

In theory, canned fruit should be just as healthy and nutritious as fresh fruit. However, most canned fruit comes covered in syrup that is full of sugar, making canned fruit a hazard to your oral health. You may see cans labeled as 'light', unfortunately, this describes that consistency of the syrup and not the sugar content.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit can seem like a convenient alternative to fresh fruit. Unfortunately, when fruit is dried, most of the water content is lost but all of the sugar is left behind. To make matters worse, the process of drying can also release more sugars from inside the fruit. The high sugar levels make dried fruit sticky, causing it to fix itself to the surface of your teeth. Once stuck on your teeth, dried fruit provides the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

Fresh Fruit

Eating fresh fruit is the healthiest way to consume it. When fruit is processed it is inevitable that some of the goodness with be lost. Fresh fruit also doesn't contain any added sugars. In addition to this, fruit with hard skin can actually help to keep your mouth clean, as every time you take a bite it removes plaque and other debris from the surface of your teeth.

A Balanced Diet

There is no need to fear fruit. Eating fresh fruit as part of a balanced diet will help to make sure you get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre you need while at the same time helping you to limit your sugar intake. This doesn't mean you can never enjoy fruit juice and canned or dried fruit again, but you should do so in moderation.

For further assistance, contact a local dentist.