Healthy Foods Can Be Ruining Your Teeth

Issue 21.16

Certain “healthy” food fads have been concerning me lately.  We have had several patients that are very health conscious, but have been getting many cavities.  Upon questioning them, I have found that they stay away from sodas, exercise, get plenty of rest and are eating almost a vegetarian diet.  I think they have very healthy bodies, but they have ruined their teeth.  In my opinion the culprit is sipping green smoothies.

Green smoothies are blended leafy green vegetables that are sweetened with fruit to taste—they are very acidic and have an acid level similar to sodas.  I recommend that people drink their smoothies quickly with a straw instead of constantly bathing their teeth all day by sipping it.   Drinking through a straw can keep the acid off you teeth and drinking it quickly instead of long periods of sipping allows the pH of your mouth to return to normal quicker.  Waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing is suggested so that the brush does not combine with the acid to accelerate the destruction.

Also, some specific follow up foods can help.  Slowly dissolving some aged cheddar or feta cheese in your mouth after these acidic foods can buffer and lower the pH in your mouth and protect your teeth.  Almonds are low in sugar and rich in calcium that can strengthen teeth, but be careful of popcorn, another “healthy” food that has uncracked kernels that can break teeth and hulls that can get stuck in between teeth and lead to infections if not flossed out.

Dr Rodney Andrus is Southern Utah’s only board certified prosthodontist–specialist for missing and damaged teeth issues.  Call St George Center for Specialized Dentistry for a FREE consultation (435) 674-3100.

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