‘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.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR TEETH STRONG!
Drink through a straw to help minimise contact with your teeth.
Reduce the frequency of drinking juice, avoid sipping on it throughout the day.
Have acidic drinks at meals times, where the saliva production is higher to reduce the acidity.
Rinse with tap water after having juice
Limit soft drinks or juices to occasional treats.
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.
Should you brush your teeth straight after drinking juice?
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.