Everyone knows that it's recommended to eat fruit as part of a healthy diet. When compared to junk food, it's hard to imagine that fruit might be bad for you. While it may seem like a healthy option when compared to a bowl of ice-cream, is it actually any better when it comes to your oral health?
While there are worse high sugar foods out there, when it comes to fruit, oral health outcomes very much depend on how you eat it. Below we look at the different ways of consuming fruit, and the impact each of them has on your oral health.
While canned fruit should be just as good for you as fresh fruit, you need to careful. A lot of canned fruit is covered in sugary syrup, which can make the fruit harmful to your oral health. Even cans labeled "light syrup" contain a large amount of added sugar, as this describes the consistency of the syrup, not the sugar content. You should always check the label and look out for low sugar options.
While fruit juice might taste great and seem like a healthy thing to have with breakfast, it is basically fruit with all the nutrition removed, which leaves you with a sugary water and natural fruit flavours. The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends that children should only be given one cup a day.
Dried fruit can seem like a great alternative to fresh fruit. It's convenient and easy to carry around, but unfortunately it is terrible for your teeth. When fruit is dried, most of the water is removed but all of the sugar remains. Additional sugars are also released from inside the fruit. This makes dried fruit very sticky, which means it gets stuck to teeth and gums. The sugar in the dried fruit then feeds bacteria inside your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay. To make matters worse, some manufacturers add sugar to dried fruit.
Eating fresh fruit is good for oral health when it's consumed as part of a balanced, healthy diet. Fresh fruit also provides your body with essential vitamins needed to maintain a healthy mouth.
The Benefits of Fresh Fruit
Eating fresh fruit with hard skin, such as an apple, can actually help to remove plaque and debris from your teeth as you take a bite. For this reason, hard skinned fruits are better for dental health than soft skinned varieties.
Many fresh fruits contain vitamin C, a deficiency of which can lead to gum disease. Fresh fruits also contain calcium and iron which promote teeth and tongue health. Most fresh fruit also contains a large amount of water, which can help to clean teeth and gums and fight the growth of bacteria.
Eating fresh fruit, as part of a balanced diet, is the best option when it comes to your dental health. You can still enjoy canned fruit, fruit juice, and dried fruit, but you should do so in moderation, remembering to brush and floss regularly to fight tooth decay and keep your mouth healthy.