Many people love eating fruits: they’re sweet, juicy, and high in vitamin C content. Fruits like oranges, strawberries, and grapefruits are particularly good choices for both your dental health and overall health. But there are other fruits that have really high acidic levels that can damage the smile by attacking the enamel of your teeth.
There’s good news! You can still reap the benefits of all fruits if you know how to keep your teeth safe while eating them. Your Tulsa dentist is here to give you the breakdown of acidic food and how to safely treat your smile.
Understanding How Citrus Affects Your Teeth
Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances that your body has and it’s there to protect your teeth. There are some substances that can cause spots in your tooth enamel to become softer than others. These softened areas of enamel may even become discolored, sensitivity to extreme temperatures or even sweet foods, and eventually decay.
That’s why it’s so important to limit the amount of citrus fruits or at least eat them with your smile in mind.
Prevent Enamel Erosion
You don’t have to completely give up fruit in order to prevent enamel erosion. Here are a few simple tips that can help keep your teeth healthy while you get vitamin C in your system:
- Don’t ever suck on lemons, limes, or highly acidic fruit. Putting these fruits directly on your teeth can soften your enamel almost immediately.
- Use a straw when drinking fruit juices—especially if they contain citrus. This goes for lemon water as well.
- Rinse water after eating your fruit to dilute the acids in your mouth.
- Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. The enamel has time to harden before you get to scrubbing away dental debris.
- Try eating cheese after your fruit to raise the pH levels in your mouth and add calcium to strengthen your teeth.
Enjoy These Fruits
There are some fruits that don’t directly attack your smile. Try incorporating apples into your diet. Eating apples can help cleanse the teeth and even fight bad breath. The acidity that an apple does have helps dill off bad bacteria. These properties can be found in the skin on the apple.
Kiwis can be mistaken as a citrus fruit, but technically it’s a berry. Kiwis have high fiber content, are packed with calcium, and can be used as a super dental material! Consider adding them to your diet more often.
Strawberries are another great berry to add to your diet for healthy teeth and gums. Strawberries are full of vitamin C and helps your body to produce collagen—a protein that’s vital to maintaining your gum’s strength. If someone eats simply 4 to 6 strawberries a day, you’ll receive 70% of the vitamin C the body needs!
If you’re concerned about how your diet may be affecting your smile, consider reaching out to your local dentist.