Everything that you eat and drink passes over your teeth and gums and impacts on your health. Brushing regularly, flossing daily and visiting your dentist and dental hygienist helps to maintain good oral health however consuming damaging, sugary foods and drinks will ultimately have a detrimental effect on your teeth and gums.
There are many known foods and drinks that you are advised to avoid when looking after your oral health – common offenders include carbonated and sports drinks. But did you know certain fruit juices contain more sugar than a standard carbonated drink? Recent research has extended this theory to analyse the sugar content smoothies, with alarming results.
Hidden sugars: They’re hidden, so why do they matter?
When you think of sugar, you probably think of the white, refined sugar you add to your cup of tea. However this is not the only type of sugar that can damage your health. Hidden sugars are not listed on ingredient lists as “sugar.” You can generally spot hidden sugars as they typically end in “ose” such as: fructose, sucrose, lactose, glucose and dextrose. Hidden sugars can be found in many standard smoothie ingredients including fruit juices, certain yoghurts, honey, and maple syrup.
Bacteria in your mouth produce acid that targets all sugars, including these hidden ones. This acid is what erodes the enamel in your teeth and leads to tooth decay. Not all smoothies are created the same so it is important to remember the next time you are making or buying one to check the ingredients as these sugary ingredients can lead to tooth decay and in sever cases, gum disease.
Which Teeth-Friendly Ingredients Should You Add To Your Smoothie?
There are ingredients you can add to your smoothies that will protect and strengthen your teeth and can also help your overall health.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has been shown to stop bacteria growth in the mouth due to its antibacterial properties. This can help prevent cavities and mouth infections.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil: Cod Liver Oil may not be the most appealing of ingredients but due to its composition of healthy fatty acids and vitamins it is often taken as a supplement. By using it in your smoothie the A and D vitamins will remineralize your teeth and prevent cavities.
Cranberries: Unsweetened cranberry juice and fresh cranberries contain ingredients that can stop bacteria bonding to your teeth.
Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter that is often used in Indian cooking. It contains D and K2 vitamins and can help strengthen and remineralize teeth.
For further tooth protection you should always drink a smoothie with a straw to minimise the time it is in contact with your teeth and swirl your mouth with water after you are finished to clear the film coating your teeth.
To find out more information about how to improve your oral hygiene with a healthy diet you can arrange an appointment to speak with our Dental Hygienist, Iben Rohde. Or if you may think you have gum disease then Dr Agudo, our specialist in periodontics, will be able to help.