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Greensboro, NC 27408

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September 14, 2015

Fruits and Fruit Juices: The Snack of Champions? or Decay?

A recent study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry found that people who drink beverages loaded with sugar and / or that are highly acidic such as soda and fruit juices have an increased risk for suffering dental erosion (tooth wear) and tooth decay. In this study, it was noted that participants with moderate and severe enamel wear consumed more acidic and sugary beverages while those with lower levels of tooth wear drank more milk. Men were also more likely than women to develop erosion. Furthermore, white wine was documented to contain more acidity than soft drinks or fruit juice, and can cause significant tooth erosion.

A different study in the United Kingdom has shown that frequent consumption of fruits between meals may create an increased risk for tooth decay. Many people snack on fruit all day because of the health benefits, but now it has become clear that intake of this healthy food should be limited to meal times. Snacking on highly-acidic fruits, such as kiwis, oranges, and grapes throughout the day can leave tooth enamel prone to consistent acidic attacks without having ample time to repair.

To keep teeth healthy, one should not only brush and floss daily, but it is also imperative to minimize exposure to acidic and sugary foods and beverages. While fruits are very nourishing, their consumption should coincide with meals to minimize damage to the teeth. Tooth brushing should be avoided for the first thirty minutes after an acid insult to prevent wearing away the softened enamel. Rinsing with water after eating or drinking these acidic items helps neutralize the acids. Ultimately, the fate of your smile is all about frequency and habits.

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