When you make breakfast, do you pour yourself a glass of orange juice? Many people do, but few stop to think about the consequences to their teeth.
Eating fruit whole is healthy, which is probably why so many people think that drinking fruit juice is healthy too. However, experts believe that consuming fruit in the form of fruit juice is harmful to our teeth. Orange juice, and indeed most fruit juices, are acidic and high in sugar and therefore bad for your smile.
Fruit juice is high in sugar
The main reason why fruit juice is bad for your teeth is that it’s high in sugar. According to myfitnesspal.com, one cup (248 g) of orange juice contains 21 g of sugar. That’s about the same amount of sugar as half a can of Coke. Apple juice has even more – one cup contains has 24 g. Pineapple juice also contains 24 g of sugar per cup, while grape juice has a whopping 36 g of sugar per cup.
As you probably know, sugar is one of the worst things for your teeth. It feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which in turn produce acid. This acid breaks down your enamel and causes cavities. The more sugar you eat, the more problems you’ll have with your teeth. Simple as that.
However, whole fruit isn’t as bad for your teeth as fruit juice because it contains fibre. The sugar is bound within this fibre which makes whole fruit safer to eat. But when fruit is blended into fruit juice, this fibre is destroyed, making the sugar more harmful to your teeth.
Fruit juice is acidic
As well as being high in sugar, fruit juice is acidic. Orange juice, for example, has a pH ranging from 3.5 to 4.0.
The problem with acidity is that it can erode your teeth. Specifically, it damages the enamel (the outer layer of your teeth that protects the inner layers.)
It’s even worse if you drink your juice slowly. This is because people who drink juice slowly are more likely to have tooth erosion than those who drink it quickly.
What to drink instead
So, if you can’t drink fruit juice, what should you drink instead? The answer is water. Water is pH neutral which means it combats acidity in your mouth. And of course, water is entirely sugar-free. This makes it one of the few drinks that are actually good for your teeth instead of harmful.
But if you love your juice too much to give it up, then at least drink it quickly. This is because the quicker you drink it, the less time it will be in contact with your teeth.
Other ways to protect your teeth
All this said, watching what you eat and drink will only go so far when it comes to looking after your teeth. Other things are also important, such as following a good dental hygiene routine. This should include brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
To keep your teeth healthy, you should also visit a dentist for regular check-ups. If you’d like to see one of our dentists for a check-up, just call us to book an appointment!