During the warm months of summer, many people find that they instinctively reach for more fruit. Fruits, like vegetables, provide us with the essential vitamins and nutrients that support health and wellness. Adding fruits to the vegetables, protein, and healthy fats on our plate enhances the balanced nature of our diet. At the same time, there are specific risks that fruits present to our teeth. Here, we point out a few ways fruit can create risk and how to protect your smile.
Canned Fruit May Need to be Canned
Many canned fruits are preserved in syrup. Syrup means sugar, and sugar means cavities. The sweetness of canned fruits may be flavorful, but syrup and other preservatives invite oral bacteria to thrive, collect, and deposit acidic byproduct all over the mouth. If packaged fruits are a must, seek out products that are stored in 100% fruit juice. Additionally, limit consumption of packaged fruits to a few times a week. For an additional measure, the mouth may be rinsed with water after enjoying a snack of canned fruit.
Hang the Dried Fruit out to Dry
Dried fruit is often perceived as a healthy snack. Unfortunately, this may be a misconception that increases a person’s risk for dental decay. Dried fruits are made flavorful by sweeteners like sugar. Even the natural sugar content in dried fruit can become somewhat risky because the dehydration process that removes water intensifies the concentration of sugar compounds.
A Word about Juice
Fruit juice, like fresh fruit, can bring a sense of lightness to our day. Like dried fruits, though, juice may have higher amounts of sugar content. This is because it takes a fair amount of fruit to make juice. You may not sit and eat three oranges, but a glass of orange juice will give you about that much sugar, and sugar isn’t the only concern. Many fruits that are made into juice contain natural acids. In combination, acid and sugar increase the potential for tooth damage.
Does this information mean that you and your family cannot enjoy that tasty watermelon at your summertime barbeques? Of course, we can treat ourselves to delicious fresh fruits, juices, and even dried and canned fruits. The benefits of fruit are more significant than the risk of tooth damage. Furthermore, good oral care habits and routine dental care work against the oral acidity that causes inflammation and decay.
Is it time for your exam and cleaning? We’d love to see you. Call our McLean office at 703-448-1020.