With all of the junk food available to kids and adults, it’s hard to imagine that something as seemingly healthy as fruit could ever be bad for your teeth. And certainly there are a lot of foods that are high in sugar that would be considered far worse for your overall oral health. Still, there are times when fruit may not be the best choice. Here are a few examples when you may want to skip the fruit:
1. When it’s dried.
Dried fruits have had most of their water removed and what’s left contains a much higher percentage of sugar than fresh fruits. And because you tend to eat more dried fruit based on the volume, you will consume a much greater amount of sugar when compared to eating fresh fruit. This doesn’t even take into account the added sugar that most packaged dried fruit contains. Further, dried fruits like raisins and plums tend to be sticky and often stay stuck to teeth for a long time. This provides bacteria plenty of what they need to grow.
2. When it’s canned with syrup.
Most canned fruits are packaged in a thick, high sugar syrup. Even those labled “light syrup” contain large amounts of added sugar because that description can refer to the consistency of the syrup rather than sugar content. When eating canned fruits, look for those that have no added sugar or those packed in 100% fruit juice.
3. When it’s juiced.
First, it’s important to understand that fruit juice can be very good for you when it’s part of a balanced diet. However, juice can still harm teeth when too much is consumed too frquently. This is because fruit that is juiced generally has much of the most nurtitious portions of the fruit removed. When the pulp and fiber is taken away, what’s left is mostly water and sugar. What’s more, fruit juices like orange juice is often highly acidic and can be tough on enamel over time.
As you can tell, fresh whole fruits are always the best option when eating fruit. Whatever you eat, however, it’s important to remember that nearly all foods can be enjoyed in moderation. And be sure to brush and floss regularly!