An apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, but as far as your teeth are concerned, that assumption is a bit complicated. Like most crunchy, juicy fruits, apples hold a wealth of benefits for your physical wellbeing, including essential minerals and nutrients that power your body. However, apples also possess properties that could make them a potential threat to the strength and integrity of your smile. Polk City dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, explores the influences that apples can have on your teeth, and offers a few pointers to enjoy the benefits without placing your teeth at risk.
The dental benefits of apples to your teeth lie largely in their texture and water content. The fibrous, slightly-abrasive interior of an apple can act as natural little scrubbers that brush away particles and minor deposits of plaque. Its juiciness also facilitates a healthy flow of saliva to naturally rinse your mouth.
Unfortunately, not all of what’s in an apple can be considered healthy for your teeth. For instance, its acidity can damage the protective layer of mineral crystals surrounding your teeth, called enamel. Over time, acids can destroy this layer and leave your teeth vulnerable to bacterial infection, or tooth decay. With new breeds and modifications over the last few decades, many of today’s apples also contain a significantly higher amount of sugar than they used to. Sugar feeds certain bacteria in the mouth that convert it into acid, increasing the risks to your dental health.
Success in Moderation
Although contradictory, an apple’s dual-influence on your teeth underscores an important tenet in good dental hygiene; with moderation, you can protect your dental health from almost anything. Eating an apple here and there could prove beneficial if you protect your dental health from its potentially harmful effects;
- Eat an apple along with your meal to moderate its sugar and acid content
- Sip water after eating an apple to neutralize acid
- Use dental floss to remove any remnants of the apple from between your teeth
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly at least twice every day to reduce your risk of dental health issues
ABOUT YOUR POLK CITY DENTIST:
Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental in Polk City office today at (515) 984-6001. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.