Does An Apple a Day Keeps the Dentist Away?

You have probably heard the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the dentist away.” Although apples are good for your overall health, apples contain a high level of sugar and acidity which can erode teeth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that, the typical apple has a 15% sugar content – that equals 4 teaspoons of sugar! Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay. Previously, apples had lower sugar contents, but with new breeds and genetic modification, apples have become sweeter. Fruits and fruit juices such as apples are thought to be healthy, but research has shown that dental erosion in adults is caused by an excessive consumption of fruits and fruit juices.

The sweeter the apple, the more likely it can erode teeth. Pink Lady, Braeburn and Fuji apples are among the sweetest breeds – other variants, like the Granny Smith apple is a better choice. In addition to the sugar, acidity in the apples can strip away tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel has worn away, it does not regenerate. Therefore, taking care of our teeth enamel is very important.  

That does not mean not to eat apples, just do so in moderation. The safest way to eat apples is to eat it with a meal and rinse your mouth with water afterwards to minimize tooth damage. Do not brush – because brushing right after actually does more harm. Your enamel is softened after eating an apple because of all the acidity, brushing right after will scrub away enamel. Wait at least half an hour before you brush.

Proper rinsing and brushing paired with regular dental checkups can help monitor tooth decay and erosion. Seeking treatment quickly can help minimize the level of future decay. Always be sure to practice good oral hygiene by following the ABCs of oral hygiene: Always Floss, Brush and Check-Up.