Are fruit juices and smoothies damaging my teeth?

fruit attack

 

The popularity of fruit juice, smoothie, and Nutri bullet diets are booming. These drinks are a convenient way to increase fruit and vegetables in your diet and boost your cancer-fighting antioxidant intake. A lot of patients have asked me about the effects these drinks have on their teeth. Unfortunately, some smoothies can be worse for your teeth than a can of coke!

 

Juices can have a high amount of natural sugars and can be quite acidic. This acidity can lead to tooth decay or tooth wear. Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid which can cause the enamel to erode. You can avoid much of the sugar reaching your teeth by eating fruit rather than liquidising. When we liquidise fruit, we release the sugars which can then harm your teeth.

 

However, it would be a shame to avoid these healthy beverages. So here are a few tips to enjoy the heart-healthy goodness from these drinks but reduce harm to your teeth.

 

1) Drink your juice fresh, if you leave the beverage to sit the sugars will ferment.
2) Favour vegetables over fruit, try and put at least two parts vegetable to one part fruit. Avoid citrus fruits as these are very acidic.
3) Make sure the fruit is ripe; unripe fruits are full of acids.
4) Yoghurt based smoothies are perfect for reducing the acidity in your drink, but be careful, a lot of yoghurts have hidden added sugar that you might not expect. Coconut oil is another tooth friendly ingredient because it has antibacterial properties.
5) Use a straw to bypass your teeth and drink water afterwards.
6) Avoid cleaning your teeth straight after eating or drinking as you are effectively brushing the acid around your mouth.

Here are some dentist approved smoothie recipes to try-

 

Vitamin Rich Green Smoothie

1 cup of chopped spinach,
1 cup of chopped kale,
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A green apple, cored, chopped
A pear, cored, chopped
Two large bananas, frozen and roughly chopped
Water to desired consistency
Blend all together
Add mint leaves to serve

This recipe has a high proportion of vegetables which will stop it becoming too acidic and causing tooth erosion. The Kale is a popular super food as it is rich in Vitamins A, C, K, E as well as folate, manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.

 

Cranberry and Hazelnut Smoothie

A cup of cranberries
A cup of raspberries
One banana.
Ten raw hazelnuts, soaked for 8 hours
The vanilla from 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of baby spinach
Water to desired consistency

There has been a recent study that show’s that cranberries help prevent decay by preventing bacteria growing on your teeth.
Also, check out this Banana bread smoothie. Non-acidic and looks delicious!

 

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