How many times have you gone to your dental checkup expecting perfect results only to discover that early decay has been detected? Many patients are shocked to learn that a follow-up appointment for tooth-colored fillings looms in the near future. “But, I hardly eat any candy and never drink sugary soft drinks,” is a common response by bewildered patients. Many have no idea just how much sugar they are actually consuming on a daily basis. In fact, one common source of excess sugar is considered very healthy by conventional wisdom.

Fruit Sugars: Hidden Gremlins

If you believe your teeth are free from the ravages of sugar because you don’t partake in daily cupcake consumption, think again. For example…

If you take away the most nutritious parts of a fruit, what are you left with? Sugar water and natural flavors, aka fruit juice.

When a fruit is juiced, all of the sugar comes out of it and into the solution of juice.  This sugar is no different than much of the sugar that is in candy today.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry even recommends restricting the amount of fruit juice that you give your small children to less than one cup per day.  They have recognized the devastating effects that fruit juice can have on kids’ teeth.

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Is Dried Fruit Good for Your Teeth?

Dried fruit is a convenient, portable snack. It would be an ideal alternative to eating fresh fruit if it weren’t for one thing: Dried fruit is not good for your teeth. For instance, you may be surprised to learn that grapes have relatively little affect on your teeth, but when dried into raisins they can cause cavities. Let’s take a closer look at why dried fruits are an issue.

1 – The sugar is super-concentrated. When you dry fruit, almost all of the water is lost, but no sugar is lost.

2 – Dried fruit is very sticky. I used to eat dried mangoes all of the time and found that they kept getting stuck in my teeth.

3 – When fruit is dried, it releases a lot of the intrinsic sugars from inside of the fruit. These sugars are then available to feed the bacteria in your mouth, which can hurt your teeth.

4 – Dried fruit often has added sugar. This is another one of the ways that manufacturers can sneak sugar into our diet. Popular dried fruit like Craisins Dried Cranberries and many brands of dried mangoes contain added sugar. Read more at Oral Answers

Beware: Sugar is Everywhere

Whatever you do, don’t get into the habit of crawling into bed or falling asleep without completing your nighttime brushing and flossing routine. Not making time to brush for as little as a few weeks can wreak havoc in your mouth.

Q: How bad is falling asleep without brushing your teeth?

A: Most people are shocked to hear this, but going to bed without brushing your teeth is like going to bed with poop in your mouth.

How can that be? Every time you have a meal, the bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth feast on the food you eat. Just like every other living organism, these bacteria excrete waste after a meal. This waste is highly acidic and breaks down tooth enamel, causing root decay and cavities.

When you hit the sack without brushing, plaque starts to harden and calcify on your teeth. Once plaque has calcified, it’s impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss and can only be removed by the hygienist during a teeth cleaning. More details at Ask The Dentist

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We Look Forward to Seeing You Soon

At Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne you can count on receiving the most advanced, most relaxed dental visit possible so schedule your checkup today. If you are unhappy with the quality of your smile for any reason, let Dr. Robert Harrell know. He will explain your cosmetic dentistry options and help you decide which best suits your needs. In addition, a complimentary digital smile preview (an $85 value) will be created to show how your smile will look when your cosmetic dental work is complete. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to schedule your exam or consultation appointment.