Fruit and vegetables are part of a balanced diet and can help us stay healthy. That’s why it’s so important that we get enough of them. But drinking large amounts of fruit juice and smoothies as part of your ‘five a day’ could be damaging your teeth.

Girl with smile on her face is eating an apple

What is a dental hygienist?

The 5 A DAY message highlights the health benefits of getting five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables every day. To get the most bene t out of your 5 A DAY, your five portions should include a variety of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

What are the signs of gum disease?

While fruit juices contain a range of vitamins that are good for your health, they are also often high in natural sugars and acid, which may cause tooth decay and tooth erosion.

Tooth erosion can cause mild dental problems, from tooth discolouration and sensitivity, to more severe dental problems, such as severe tooth wear and even cracked teeth.

While tooth erosion can do severe damage to your teeth it can also be prevented.

Tips to help you get your 5 a day without causing harm to your teeth.

  • Continue to eat fruit but drink water afterwards to help wash away the acid or eat something containing calcium, such as cheese, which neutralises acid.
  • Cut back on carbonated drinks and try replacing them with water, milk or un-sweetened co ffee and tea.
  • Use a straw when drinking natural fruit juices or other sweet drinks and carbonated beverages which are very acidic. A straw enables the liquid to go quickly to the back of your mouth instead of washing over the teeth.
  • Swallow acidic drinks quickly instead of swishing them around or holding them in your mouth.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce dry mouth and increase the saliva flow. This neutralises acid and allows your teeth to remineralise. Since tooth erosion can occur from several different factors, it’s important to talk with your dentist if you suspect that you might have tooth erosion. Your dentist and dental hygienist can also keep you informed of dental products that are designed specifically to help sensitivity caused by tooth erosion.