As we all know, fruit is extremely useful: it is an axiom. Fresh fruit is firmly linked in our minds with health, and this association is almost impossible to destroy. And it is not necessary – perhaps one should take into account some peculiarities of the effect of fruit on the color of our tooth enamel: some food products do not make the teeth darker, but on the contrary, retain their color, while other products are better avoided. And among them a lot of fruit!
-Fruits and teeth: risk groups
As you know, most fruits and vegetables contain natural pigments – dyes. For example, carrots, peaches, melons, pumpkin — carotenoids, tomatoes and peppers — lycopene (it refers to the same carotenoids, not red or orange, but red), plums, blueberries, blackberries — anthocyanins, which give them characteristic shades of blue.
Pigmented molecules – chromogens contained in food and beverages, easily deposited on the surface of the teeth. Tannins that are also found in high concentrations in coffee, tea, red wine, and many vegetables and fruits also contribute to this. Of course, under the condition of normal oral hygiene, no products can stably paint the tooth enamel in yellow or blue tint, even if you eat them in large quantities.
However, in the case of teeth whitening, especially medical (more powerful than homemade), tooth enamel simply “absorbs” third-party substances, and in this case, pigmented fruits can become a problem. Naturally, many people who have whitened their teeth are preoccupied with how to preserve the result, therefore in this case it is better to avoid some fruits. Among the products that change the shade of enamel or make teeth darker, we can distinguish carotene-containing fruits and vegetables (carrots, mangoes, pumpkins, etc.), as well as berries with a rich blue color – blueberries, blueberries, currants.
In general, all the gifts of nature, having a rich and dark color, especially such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries, mulberries, can lead to staining of tooth enamel. Of vegetables, beet is considered a powerful dye due to its high content of chromogens. Therefore, in order to prevent the formation of a persistent dark plaque on the teeth, after eating beets, it is recommended to brush your teeth.
– Drinks that should be excluded
Also, carefully watch what you drink, especially if you like fresh juices. Those drinks that stain a white shirt – like coffee or tea – will also “paint” your teeth. Therefore, after the teeth whitening procedure, exclude for a while from the diet sweet carbonated drinks, such as Coca-Cola, as well as coffee, tea, red wine. By the way, even soy sauce is dangerous in this respect: many seasonings that have a yellow or brown shade are also included in the list of products that stain teeth. Because of the bright color and high acid content, tomato-based sauces are harmful to the teeth. Chocolate and caramel of their color also lead to darkening of the enamel. Some medicines, such as a number of antibiotics, can also cause discoloration of tooth enamel.
-Fruits and teeth: positive impact is ambiguous
In general, proper nutrition is the most important factor in protecting not only the visible surface of the teeth, but also the part hidden under the gums: it contributes to the overall health of the oral cavity, normalizes the local microflora and protects from the damaging effects of aggressive substances on enamel from the outside. And fruits are an integral part of proper nutrition.
Hard fruits and vegetables, such as apples, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, celery, etc. act like a natural exfoliant, mechanically clearing plaque when we chew. The problem is that our teeth and gums have become accustomed to soft, processed foods and have ceased to function normally, resulting in plaque and blood circulation disorders. Just a couple of hard vegetables or fruits per day – and the gums are provided with a good massage, and your teeth are cleaned from harmful unaesthetic plaque. In addition, these vegetables stimulate the secretion of saliva, constantly washing the mouth and reducing the number of microbes and bacteria.
Also many hard fruits, they contribute to the secretion of saliva, which neutralizes acids and protects teeth. And lactic and other fruit acids contained in the vast majority of fruits kill many pathogenic bacteria and thus prevent periodontal disease. So lemons, oranges, grapefruits and apples are definite friends for our teeth. (But still, remember that no fruit will replace a toothbrush!).
Particular emphasis should be placed, perhaps, on apples: scientists have found that one apple contains one and a half times more antioxidants than three oranges or eight bananas contain. In addition, apple juice neutralizes those bacteria of the oral cavity, which contribute to the destruction of the tooth enamel and tooth structure. In addition, many foods rich in calcium, for example, not only cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream, but also all varieties of cabbage, spinach, help to keep your teeth white and stronger.
However, on the other hand, caries are provoked by “acid-loving” bacteria, so you should not be zealous with these fruits either. They are helped to neutralize dairy products, as well as seeds or nuts: they form an alkaline medium in the oral cavity, which to some extent neutralizes the acid that causes caries. Cheese has similar properties. Therefore, it is believed that such foods are best eaten last at every meal.
In addition, overly acidic fruits (especially concentrated juices), eaten in large quantities, destroy the enamel, especially if you brush your teeth immediately after their application. Acid plus mechanical effects cause a kind of erosion. Therefore, the first prevention is to try to drink all the juices (even white wine or water with lemon), through a straw, and in no case do not brush your teeth right away (it is better to wait 10-20 minutes). You can also rinse your mouth with alkaline mineral water (normal drinking, but the effect will not be that) in order to neutralize the excessively active action of the acid after consuming sour fruits and berries (oranges, pineapples, kiwi, etc.).
Picture Credit: Engin_Akyurt