You’ve no doubt heard people say that candy rots your teeth. We all know that sugar and strong teeth don’t mix. But what about the natural sugars in fruits and green smoothies? Should you be concerned that a smoothie a day will slowly erode away your smile?
It is true that the sugars in fruit feed bacteria in your mouth, which will then set off a chain reaction that can lead to dental problems if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.
However, fruit shouldn’t be avoided because of this since everything you eat can feed bacteria and produce plaque.
Fruit doesn’t dissolve your tooth enamel from just eating it. In fact, some fruits and berries, and especially leafy greens, can add a significant amount of minerals in your diet that help you maintain strong bones and teeth.
Certain foods like cranberries may actually protect your teeth from developing cavities.
Basically, green smoothies will not rot your teeth unless you have a mineral-deficient diet and poor dental hygiene.
I have been drinking green smoothies every day since January 2008. At my most recent routine dentist visit, both my husband and I had no cavities, no excessive enamel erosion, and no gum problems. Our teeth are strong and healthy.
There are a few things that you can do to protect your teeth while drinking green smoothies:
1. Brush and Floss Regularly. This goes without saying, but proper oral hygiene is essential for maintaining strong, healthy teeth. Floss every day and brush your teeth after meals.
2. Rinse Your Mouth. If brushing isn’t an option after drinking a green smoothie, then rinse your mouth with water. This helps wash away some of the excess fruit juice and sugars on your teeth and gums.
3. Use a Straw. Sipping your green smoothie with a straw limits contact with your teeth. You can purchase reusable glass (I love my Glass Dharma straws!) and even stainless steel straws online and avoid plastic straws that just get thrown away and may leach chemical toxins into your smoothie.
4. Eat Only Fully Ripened Fruit. The acids in unripe fruit wreak havoc on your teeth. It is better to use fully ripe fruit, especially when making a smoothie.
5. Blend Your Greens! Leafy greens are rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – three important bone and tooth-building minerals. Focus on the most mineral-rich leafy greens such as dandelion, kale, and bok choy.
6. Get Plenty of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is also an important nutrient for strong teeth. Try to get some sunshine every day and consider taking a quality vitamin D supplement if you don’t have regular access to sunshine year round (I recommend Garden of Life Raw D3).
7. Make Cranberry Green Smoothies. A study published in the journal Caries Research showed that the juice from cranberries “contains a chemical that blocks cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth”. (Browse some tasty cranberry smoothie recipes.)
My experience has shown me that as long as my diet is rich in minerals, and I maintain a standard practice of oral hygiene, there is nothing to be concerned about when it comes to drinking green smoothies and the health of my teeth.