Fruit and Your Oral Health
Fruit is good for you; there is no doubt about it. It is good for your physical and oral health in many ways. The problem is that if you eat too much of certain fruits or you do not practice proper oral hygiene, it could end up hurting your oral health in the long run. Just like most everything else in life, fruit is good in moderation – do not eat it excessively and practice good oral hygiene and you should be providing your body with what it needs.
The Benefits of Eating Fruit
Fruit has plenty of fiber, which is good for your entire body. It helps your digestive system and even your oral health. Fiber is known to help stimulate the production of saliva, which is crucial to optimal oral health. When you produce enough saliva, the bacteria and food debris left behind from eating is washed away, which protects the enamel of your teeth from wearing down and experiencing eventual tooth decay.
Vitamins are also plentiful in fruit, which helps to keep your overall health in optimal condition. When you eat fruits often, you are able to ward off certain illnesses, including the common cold, which can be detrimental to your oral health in the long run. When you are sick, your saliva production is decreased, which puts your mouth at risk for more illness, disease, and decay.
The Disadvantages of Eating Fruit
Unfortunately, not all fruits are great for your teeth. Citrus fruits, in particular, can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. When the enamel is weakened, you are at higher risk for other problems, including tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Another disadvantage to eating fruit is the high sugar content. While this sugar is natural sugar; it is not added in, it is still bad for your teeth because sugar is sugar. It is best to eat your fruit in its purest form (whole) and not as dried fruit or fruit juice, but you still need to watch your consumption so that you are not at risk for decay.
Proper Oral Hygiene
If you are going to consume fruit, which everyone should, you need to practice proper oral hygiene. It is best to eat any fruit with a meal, rather than on its own. This is when your saliva production is the highest which means that the sugar from the fruit will not just sit in your mouth, it will have a better chance of getting washed away. In addition, you should properly brush and floss your teeth twice a day, but not within 30 minutes of eating citrus fruit as brushing would only force the acids further into your teeth, damaging the enamel.