Considering all the junk food available to kids and adults, it’s difficult to think that something as seemingly healthy as fruit could possibly be bad for your teeth. Of course there are plenty of foods that are high in sugar that could be considered far worse for your overall oral health, but at least those foods are usually marketed as junk food. When foods seem to be healthy but really aren’t, there’s a higher chance that those foods will be incorporated into your diet regularly, which can be even more detrimental to your health than junk food would be. Here are examples of when fruit may not be the best choice:
When it’s dried.
As you can guess, dried fruit is dry, meaning there is little water left in the item. And what remains often has a much higher percentage of sugar than regular fresh fruit. Since dried fruit is so easy to snack on due to its condensed volume, you can easily end up eating way more sugar than you intended to. Moreover, this doesn’t even take into consideration the added sugar inside of most packaged dried fruit. Not only that, dried fruits such as raisins and prunes tend to be sticky and difficult to brush away, which can result in cavities.
When it’s packaged with syrup.
Canned fruits are typically preserved in a thick, sugary syrup. Even those labeled “light syrup” may high amounts of added sugar since the description usually refers to the consistency of the syrup rather than sugar content. If you can’t get fresh fruit, then we recommend choosing canned items with no added sugar or those packed in 100% fruit juice. Fruit cups are another product that drenches its fruit in sugary syrup. If you want to serve these to your children, you can strain them to get rid of all that extra cavity-causing syrup.
When it’s juiced.
While fruit juice can be very good for you as a part of a balanced diet, fruit juice can harm teeth when consumed frequently. Juiced fruit still contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, but without the pulp, it lacks the fiber content that helps your body to filter out the high amount of sugar. Furthermore, certain fruit juices are highly acidic and they can wear away the enamel.
In conclusion, fresh whole fruits are always the best option when eating fruit. They provide tons of necessary vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber! No matter what you eat, however, it’s important to remember that nearly all foods can and should be enjoyed in moderation. Also make sure to brush and floss regularly after eating!
We love fruit as much as the next person, but there are some kinds that we should avoid. For more information about foods that can be harmful for your teeth, visit your pediatric dentist at Kids Healthy Teeth in Katy, Texas.