There's a common saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. While it may do that, eating fruit regularly can be bad for your teeth. The acids within them can wear away at the tooth enamel, especially if you don't protect them. Here are four major tips to help protect your teeth even if you love fruit.
Cut Down on the Acidic Fruits You Eat
Start by opting for fruits that have lower levels of acid in them. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are the worst. Opt for the more pH neutral varieties like melons and berries.
If you are going to eat acidic fruits, try to limit to eating them at meal times only. Opt for them as a breakfast ingredient or a dessert and avoid snacking on them during the day. When you snack throughout the day, your saliva doesn't have the chance to balance out the acid and remove it from the mouth, so you're at a higher risk of tooth decay.
Avoid Sugary Fruits If Possible
All fruits have natural sugars, but some are worse than others. Strawberries and bananas can have high levels of sugar that could damage your teeth. High levels of sugar will lead to more tooth decay compared to the more savoury options.
If you are going to eat sugary fruits, adopt a similar routine as with acidic fruits. Try to avoid snacking on them throughout the day.
Stick to the Fruit and Not the Juices
Eating the whole fruit is better for your whole body than drinking fruit juices. You get the fibre rather than just all the sugars. Also, eating the whole fruit is better for your teeth.
When you drink juice, you're likely to swish it around your mouth. All teeth come into contact with the acid and the enamel on all teeth is affected. If you only eat the whole fruit and chew on one side, there's less chance of overall tooth decay and gum disease.
If you do want to drink fruit juice, opt for a straw. You'll bypass your teeth, protecting them from direct contact with acid.
Eat Cheese Afterwards
Cheese is an excellent after-fruit snack. It helps to balance out the pH levels in the mouth, since it creates an alkaline environment. You instantly remove the dangerous levels of acid in your mouth, so your enamel isn't as negatively affected as it would be with an acidic environment.
It's also worth eating plant foods to stimulate the saliva production. Any acid left in the mouth will be removed sooner, meaning the enamel isn't as compromised as it could be.
Just because you enjoy fruit doesn't mean you have to have bad teeth. The acid and sugar levels in certain fruits can be damaging, so you need to take action afterwards. Balance out the pH levels and you will find your teeth thank you.