Posted on 9/23/2015 by Raymond Liu
|When you choose fruit for a snack, you probably think you are doing your body and your teeth some good, right? In reality, you might be, but the type of fruit matters. Certain fruits have a much higher natural sugar content, which if eaten in excess can damage your teeth. In addition, if you are choosing varieties, such as dried fruits, you are not doing your body or your teeth any good. Dried fruits have a deceiving name, as they sound healthy, but the amount of sugar in them is very harmful to your teeth.
In addition, the way these fruits are prepared make them so sticky and damaging to your teeth, that it is hard to find any redeeming qualities about them!
The Damaging Factors
We already know that fruit is high in sugar, especially fruits like figs, mangoes, and cherries. But there are other factors that are damaging to your teeth when it comes to dried fruit. It all lies in the way that it is made. Dried fruit is obviously dried, which means that the water is taken out of it. This means that the sugar content in the fruit is even higher because there is no water concentration to balance it out. This means that half of the amount of dried fruit compared to its fresh fruit counterpart is considered equal when it comes to portion size. To make matters worse, dried fruit is often treated with lemon juice or other acids that when combined with sugar wreak havoc on your teeth.
Another factor that makes dried fruit a bad choice for a snack is the added sugar that they often contain. Just like other processed foods, sugar is added in order to enhance the taste. You might not see the word "sugar" on the label, however, because sugar can take on hundreds of different names when it comes to labeling ingredients. Food manufacturers are getting good at changing those names into more obscure names in order to fool the consumer, tricking you into thinking that you are eating something healthy.
Choose Real Fruit
Rather than choosing dried fruit; try the real alternative. A real apple is better than dried apples, just as real bananas are better than the dried version. When you choose the dried fruit over the actual fruit, you are likely to consume much more and deal with the issue of excessive sugar and the stickiness factor of the fruit. Sticky foods tend to stick in the crevices of your teeth for the remainder of the day until you brush. In some cases, it can even last longer than that if you do not properly brush! This puts the chance of your enamel being eaten away by acids and sugar rather high, allowing you to suffer from tooth decay and possible tooth loss down the road.
When you are choosing your snacks this fall, avoid the desire to consume dried fruit. If you do not like the actual fruit, try to sweeten things up a bit. Finding healthy dips to add to your fruits can make them more appealing and dried fruit a thing of your past. Try adding natural peanut butter to apples and bananas or dipping almost any type of fruit in plain Greek Yogurt mixed with a little bit of honey. These options are much better for your oral and physical health and do not carry the dangers that dried fruit carry for your oral health.
If you are worried about tooth decay or other damages that dried fruit any have caused you, please call us for an appointment today!
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