Wearing down of milk teeth is a major problem in children. One in five of all 5 year old children have shown evidence of erosion of their milk teeth (it is the wearing down of teeth on the outside).
The consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices are major contributors. They contain acids that causes erosion of your teeth with pain and sensitivity. Dieticians are now boasting on fruit smoothies. Fruit juices and smoothies contain vitamins, anti-oxidants, polyphenols and fibres. This is a great way to get your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in a day that dieticians recommend. That is why it is considered healthy. But smoothies and fruit juices can be potentially detrimental to your health due to the high sugar and acid content it contain.
Why dentists don’t like smoothies
Smoothies are extremely acidic and if consumed in high volumes can cause erosion and dental decay. Smoothies also contain a lot of fructose (that is the sugar in fruit) that can cause dental decay if your child’s oral hygiene is not good.
Sugar causes the pH in your mouth to drop far below 5.5, especially when it contains orange juice, with a low pH. The bacteria in the plaque works optimally in an acidic environment. That is why, when sugar is consumed and the pH drops in your mouth, the bacteria are most active and take the minerals out of the teeth. This is called demineralization and is the start of tooth decay.
Research has linked poor dental health and tooth decay to a range of serious health conditions like heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes. 30% of people think that fruit juices are healthy for your teeth. The real damage comes in if it is sipped throughout the day.
So now what?
Make your own smoothies. Shop-bought smoothies can be worse than a can of coke. The sugars in the smoothie has started to ferment and that produces the acids. Freshly made smoothies can be alkaline if made with greener vegetables.
Bright Smile Smoothie
Smoothie for Healthy gums
It is important to note:
Enjoy your smoothie, but rinse your mouth afterwards.
Brush your teeth before drinking your fruit juice. The fluoride in the toothpaste will protect your teeth against the acid attack.
Brushing your teeth directly after consuming a smoothie can damage your tooth enamel, because it is weakened by the acid content. Wait at least 1 hour after drinking your smoothie.
Drink your smoothie and juice through a straw.
Don’t add citrus to your smoothie. The ascorbic acid in vitamin C can cause erosion of tooth enamel.
Add alkaline foods, like yoghurt, flax seeds and green foods.
Don’t drink too many smoothies too often.