‘Healthy’ juices may not be so good for your teeth

Did you know that a glass of juice contains 6 teaspoons of sugar. That is almost as much as a glass of soft drink!

Despite this, our minds trick us and we automatically think drinking orange juice is healthier than drinking soft drinks, but their effects on our oral and general health is essentially the same. 

Fruit in any form is seen as healthy for the body, but recent studies have shown that they contain as much sugar and calories as soft drinks. Even though the sugar is 100% natural, once broken down, its effect on our bodies is the same. When fruit is made into juice, it strips the fruit of all of the wholesome fibre and makes it very similar to soft drinks. Also another point to consider when having a glass of orange juice, it’s the equivelant of eating 3 to 4 whole oranges, which is above the daily recommended intake of fruit.

It is not only the sugar in juice causing harmful effects to your teeth, juice and soft drinks also contain acids that dissolve the hard protective layers of your teeth (the enamel). Once these layers of your teeth dissolve, they never grow back. This increases your risk of dental decay and sensitivity of your teeth to cold, hot and sweet food and drinks. 


1. Drink through a straw to help minimise contact with your teeth. Rinse with tap water after having juice

2. Reduce the frequency of drinking juice, avoid sipping on it throughout the day. Limit soft drinks or juices to occasional treats.

3. Have acidic drinks at meals times, where the saliva production is higher to reduce the acidity. 


Choose tap water over bottled water as your drink of choice. It’s free!! It also contains fluoride in most parts of Australia and is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen the teeth. Best of all, water doesn’t contain any sugar or calories.

It is best to avoid brushing immediately after certain food and drinks. This applies especially after consuming any drinks containing citric acid (found in fruit) or phosphoric acid (found in fizzy drinks). 

When the outer layer of the tooth is exposed to acid it becomes soft. Brushing straight away will damage that softened enamel. 

By waiting for a minimum of 30 minutes, it will allow your mouth to produce more saliva. Saliva has enzymes and buffers to neutralise the acids and harden up the enamel. It provides an armour-like coating that helps keep the teeth strong. 

“The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that we eat whole fruits, and they don’t recommend that fruit juices can replace whole fruits. In fact, they say ‘Fruit juice should only be drunk occasionally as it is acidic and can increase the risk of dental erosion. Fruit juice also has less fibre and other healthy nutrients than the whole fruit provides.’

The decision by the Forum to change the rating for orange juice, which Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend shouldn’t exceed more than 125ml (½ cup) per day,

Many juices contain up to 10 grams of sugar per 100ml – which is the same as sugary soft drinks. Claims that the sugar is naturally occurring in fruit, does not mean the sugar is any healthier for us, our bodies do not recognise where sugar comes from – so it’s treated it the same ways regular sugar. So if we are looking at weight gain or tooth decay, the sugar in fruit juice has the results on our bodies as the sugar in soft drinks.


Head to the Sugar Free Smiles website for further reading about Health Stars and 100% Fruit Juice.
The Sugar Free Smiles website is also a great source of information about all things sugar free.

The Eat for Health website is great for reading about all the amazing ways to enjoy fruit with the fruit juice!
The Eat for Health website contains an amazing amount of information on food essentials, complete with eating guidelines, nutrition calculators and so much more.

An interesting article for reading, comparing fruit juices with other high sugar beverages with some alarming facts and figures!

Thanks to our wonderful Oral Health Therapist, Tu-Anh.
She works at the Essendon clinic.
If you would like to talk to her or any of our amazing team, about this or any other questions you may have, please contact us on 03 9372 8960.