German researchers published a paper that found that lemon juice and apple juice are among the worst for one’s teeth. Frequent consumption of fruit juices (even if they are fresh-pressed), drinks with artificial sweeteners and diet drinks that are filled with sugar will cause sustained ‘acid attacks’ on one’s teeth. The sugar is consumed by the bacteria in one’s mouth and an acid that wears away tooth enamel is created, increasing the chances of gum disease.
In addition to the sugar problem, juices are frequently trapped in one’s teeth as it fills the spaces between the teeth and where the teeth and gum meets.
Dr Helena Lee, Dental Specialist in Periodontics, also highlighted this issue before in her blog post about her son’s school project on the effects of tooth erosion from consumption of carbonated drinks, sports drinks and orange juice.
Therefore, before you start substituting your soft drinks with juices, here are two pointers you may want to consider:
- Focus on eating whole fruits and vegetables
In this way, you will be able to receive the benefits of the entire fruit or vegetable. The skin of fruit has a variety of phytonutrients including carotenoids and flavonoids, which have been found to prevent disease and protect our health. Fruit and vegetable pulp, the other component eliminated in fruit juices, is a source of fibre. An adequate fibre diet is essential for healthy bowels and helps in weight management, among other benefits.
- Water is still the best drink for our bodies
Water contains no sugar, no calories and is essential in making sure your kidneys are able to remove toxins in your body.
When you do decide to have a fruit juice, here are some tips to take note:
- Drink it during meal times, when your teeth is already under “attack” from the food consumed
- Drink the juice fairly fast (never hold it in or swish it around your mouth) and use a straw to limit contact with teeth
- Rinse with water when you finish the juice
- Wait for an hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride