Researchers have always lauded the benefits of citrus fruits in terms of fighting infections and wound healing power. However, it should not come at the cost of your oral health. Citrus is good for your body but bad for teeth. This is because the content in citrus fruits supports overall health by nourishing the body with vitamins and minerals, but it also has acids that damage your tooth enamel. But do not let this stop you from taking advantage of them; stay with us till the end to learn what bad effects citrus have on your teeth and ways to prevent them from happening.
Is Citrus Juice From Fruits Bad For Teeth?
In a nutshell, yes. Citrus juices found in fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes contain varying levels of acidity and sugars that can erode enamel with long-term usage.
Sugars and acidic components make the environment hazardous for your enamel to survive and function normally. Acid itself and sugar erode the study mineral layer in the enamel, paving the way for decay and tooth loss.
But why does this happen?
One way to show the adverse effects of citrus on teeth is by understanding the pH level of food and saliva.
Saliva naturally maintains the pH of your oral cavity in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 at a resting state that protects enamel from erosion. Consuming food or drinks that have high acidity and/or sugar content disrupts the oral environment, making teeth enamel susceptible to decay.
Adverse Effects of Citrus Juice On Teeth
Here are some of the common troubles that frequent users might face:
- Cavities/Erosion of Enamel
When the environment of our mouth turns acidic due to high consumption of such foods, your tooth enamel becomes weak and starts losing mineralization. One added disadvantage of citrus fruits is that they fast-track the buildup of bacteria due to the acidity in the mouth and consequent decay.
- Canker Sore Development
Other than the obvious tooth enamel change, citrus consumption can cause small canker sores to develop at the base of gums or soft tissues in the mouth cavity. The lesions are quite painful and usually disappear after several days, with no medical intervention required. However, if they persist, get in touch with your oral care expert immediately.
- Tooth Sensitivity and Discoloration
High levels of acidic citrus fruits are bad for your teeth, and tooth sensitivity is one of the few fundamental changes. The high acidity of lemon-like fruits results in discomfort and pain. Moreover, your teeth may also start to appear visibly yellow with continuous use of such items. This happens when citrus weakens teeth enamel to the extent that the damage starts reaching dentin layers, too.
Managing Damages By Citric Acid
Even with all the bad effects of citrus on your teeth, it is still not feasible to completely eradicate it from your diet. They provide vitamin C, which is crucial for healthy gums and general dental health. So, how can we find the mid-way, get the benefits, and minimize adverse effects?
- Brush and Floss Daily
An adequate oral hygiene regime is crucial to maintain healthy teeth, and this includes brushing, flossing, and a mouthwash swish. This routine should be practiced at least twice a day to help keep acidity levels down.
But there is one catch to this, too; there is a feasible brushing time for maximum impact. It is best to wait for at least 30 minutes to an hour after consuming highly acidic meals to brush. This time is given to your saliva to get rid of the acid naturally and remineralize the enamel.
- Keep Up With Regular Dental Appointments
Scheduling bi-annual appointments for dental cleaning and oral examination is one way you can keep up with the changes happening in your oral cavity.
Although you can see most parts of your oral cavity, there are still sneaky places where neither you nor your brush can go. That is when the expertise of a specialist comes into play. With their tools, they reach far to make sure to get every pit and corner of plaque and debris, saving your teeth from long-term issues.
Regular examination is helpful to detect any potential problems budding in your mouth for timely intervention.
- Lessen The Consumption of Citrus Items
Limiting food or beverages that are highly acidic is a great preventive measure. Set a limit if you have to and save your teeth from contacting acids.
- Straw For Drinking
Lessening contact can also mean using ways to take the content directly in without having your teeth between them. For this, a straw is the best choice when drinking fruit juice or a high-sugar drink.
- Rinse with Fresh Water after Consumption
You may be compelled to have a fresh drink in the morning to kick-start your day on a healthy note. This approach, although much appreciated, should still be followed by a freshwater rinse to wash away excess content on teeth.
- Include Calcium-Rich Foods In Your Diet
When talking about neutralizing acidity after water, incorporating calcium-enriched foods into your diet can be helpful, too. Dairy products like yogurt, milk, or cheese reduce acidity in the mouth, protecting the enamel.
To sum it up, even though citrus may be bad for tooth enamel, taking proactive measures like rinsing with water can help manage it. You do not have to cut this important food group out. If you have more questions about citrus fruits and how deep dental cleaning by professionals can be of help in this matter, get in touch with Dr. Amjad Sheikh at Trinity Dental Centers, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field. He and his team are just a call away to guide you through. Dial (281) 724-4510 to connect with us.