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Smoothies, juice bad for your teeth?

Acidic drinks can wear down the enamel on your teeth. When people think of liquids that are bad for their teeth, they often think of soda pop. Yes, pop has lots of sugar and its acidity can cause real damage. Some people even use certain pop brands to remove rust!

What people also need to be careful of is the good stuff - the homemade fruit smoothies or juices. That's because they are also tend to be acidic drinks. Vitamin C, which is found in abundance in many fruits is part of what contributes to the acidic nature of these drinks. Now I'm not saying to stop drinking your healthy smoothies. In fact, I'm a big supporter of using smoothies as a way to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day!

A problem only arises when a person takes a long time to ingest their smoothie drink. Some people like to sip their morning smoothie or juice and can take 30 minutes or more to finish their drink. This prolonged exposure increases ones' risk of developing acidic wear on the teeth.

I find that people take long to drink their homemade smoothie because of the temperature of the drink. Cold drinks are tough to ingest quickly. Try using room temperature fruits or mixing warm water or milk to your frozen berries.

The Canadian Dental Association offers tips to avoid tooth decay and gum disease:

  • choose sugar-free snacks.....though this ND is leery of this advice because products that are sugar free are substituted w/ aspartame or some other artificial sweetener.
  • avoid sugar-sweetened soft drinks
  • look for fruit juices and drinks that don't contain added sugar
  • look for other names for sugar on ingredient labels, such as molasses, liquid invert sugar, glucose and fructose
  • avoid eating sticky sweets that cling to teeth (ie. Toffee,caramel, etc.)
  • eat sweets as part of a meal so the increased saliva flow can clean teeth and dilute sugar
  • brush your teeth after eating sweets and after each meal, or at least rinse your mouth with water, eat raw vegetables or chew sugarless gum.........just a note about brushing your teeth right after ingesting acidic products: I've had some dental professionals tell me that it's not such a good thing to do because this will help to further erode the enamel. So there's differing opinions on this. In any case, after eating sweets or drinking sugary drinks, it's always advisable that you rinse your mouth with water.

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