Myth buster: The truth about fruit and dental health
There's an air of mystery surrounding fruit when it comes to dental health. We're all familiar with the bad press it's gotten, with obvious confusion over whether it's actually as bad for our teeth as other less healthy sugary snacks. However, because of the high water content in most fruit, its sugar content is actually diluted significantly, plus the sugars contained are all natural1. The NHS tells us that we don't need to cut down on fruit2, and it seems getting your five a day really doesn't equate to binging on biscuits. In fact, many fruits are actually good for our dental health. Here we take a look how to incorporate the best fruits for our teeth into our diet.
The fruit: Apples
Due to being a firm and crunchy fruit, apples encourage healthy saliva production from all the biting and chewing involved in eating them. This helps to prevent tooth decay due to lowering the levels of bacteria present in the mouth3.
What to do with it: Pecan and apple salad
Apples are good for our teeth as long as they retain their crunch and nutrients, so it's best not to incorporate them into a cooked dish (however tempting an apple pie may be). Jamie Oliver's pecan and apple salad is a great way to create a dish that uses raw apples. Plus it's full of nuts, which are another dental health superfood due to containing high levels of calcium and phosphorus - two essential minerals for protecting tooth enamel.
The fruit: Pears
The same logic behind eating apples for a healthy smile applies to its not so dissimilar sister, the pear. The crunchy nature of the fruit aids saliva production, washing away food particles and reducing bacteria levels in the mouth.
What to do with it: Pear and Manchego salad
This BBC goodfood pear and Manchego salad offers an enticing way to get more pears into our meals. With toasted hazelnuts and rosemary, it's full of warm flavours for a tasty winter version of the classic Waldorf. The best thing about this kind of recipe is that you can customise it to taste, making it your very own signature dish.
Everything in moderation
We all know that fruit is often used to make indulgent puddings and cakes due to it being naturally sweet and delicious. So, whilst it is great for our general health and even teeth when consumed in its natural form, don't forget to watch out for sugar content when eating fruity dishes. Steer clear of tinned fruits in syrup, and don't be fooled into thinking a sticky toffee pudding is good for you because it contains dates.
So there you have it, fruit isn't the enemy of dental health after all. It's simply a matter of sussing out which varieties to go for and how to get them into our diets in a way that will keep them at their optimum level for benefitting our teeth. With that in mind, next time you're crunching your way through an apple it'll be smiles all round.
It's vital to look after your teeth and prevention is always better than cure, but a good dental insurance plan can give you added peace of mind when it comes to dental health.