Apple And Kale With A Splash Of Cavities, Please! A Look At Juicing And Dental Health

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It certainly sounds like a healthy idea – starting each morning with a glass of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice. Proponents of juicing claim that drinking fresh juice allows the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables to be absorbed more quickly, giving you're a burst of energy. Juicing has been claimed to protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even various inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It's a seemingly healthy habit that's trending across the nation, with juice bars popping up in every city, and people buying high-end juicers for their home kitchens. Unfortunately juicing, as popular as it may be, has a dark secret: it's bad for your teeth.

Juicing, Sugar and Dental Health

Most people are well aware of the fact that snacking on sugar all day is terrible for the teeth. Sugars feed oral bacteria, which release acids that erode the tooth enamel, leading to the formation of cavities. The thing about sugar is that the sugar found in natural fruits and vegetables is no different than the sugar found in candy bars and soda. As far as oral bacteria are concerned, sugar is sugar, and they love it all. When you drink fruit or vegetable juice, you're delivering a concentrated dose of sugar, straight onto your teeth.

It's not just the sugars in fresh juice that can harm your teeth, either. Many people put lemons in their fresh juices because their tart flavor hides the somewhat less enjoyable flavors of ingredients like kale and celery. This lemon juice is very acidic, which accelerates tooth decay even more.

How to Enjoy Juice Without Damaging Your Teeth

If you want to have teeth left when you're 60, it's probably best to drop the habit of starting each day with a big glass of juice. Even if you brush right after drinking your juice, you may not reduce your risk of forming cavities. After all of that acid and sugar has been sliding past your teeth, they're at their most vulnerable, and scrubbing away at them is likely to do more harm than good by wearing down your enamel.

No, you don't have to leave juice behind forever. Like all other things in life, it's fine in moderation. Perhaps you can enjoy a juice with your weekend brunch, or make a habit of only drinking juice on Wednesdays. The rest of the week, get your vitamins and minerals from whole fruits and vegetables. They don't bathe your teeth in sugar like juices do, thanks to their fiber content.  When you do make juice, try to minimize the acidic ingredients, such as lemons and oranges.

Like many health trends, the juicing trend arose with the best intentions, but is not as glorious as it initially seemed. If you've been drinking juice regularly for a while,  you may want to visit your Family Dental Office for an examination. You may have cavities from the high sugar and acid content of the juice, and the earlier you have them treated, the less chance you'll have of developing severe tooth decay.