At the start of every new year, most of us begin to reevaluate our waistlines and opt for a healthier lifestyle. With the growing popularity of juicing in recent years, more of our patients have been turning to this diet as a means of increasing their fruit and vegetable intake. While blending veggies, fruits, and other nutrients together can be very beneficial for overall health, do you really know the effects on your oral health?
The Effects of Juicing on the Teeth
When you consume a fruit and vegetable drink, you’re exposing your teeth to the acids that come from these foods as well. Over time, these acids can cause staining and erosion damage to your teeth. Many people notice that their teeth feel sticky or rough after juicing for more than a couple of days. Thankfully, Dr. Kevin Theroux and Dr. Brooks Barefoot at Total Orthodontics has a few easy tips to help maintain great oral health while drinking yourself to a better you.
Always Drink Through a Straw
When drinking your choice of blended greatness, use a straw to keep most of the liquid from coming into contact with your teeth. Take it a step further and have different types of straws to compliment the consistency of what you’re drinking. For example, using a wide straw for thick juices and a narrow or regular-sized straw for normal densities. Metal straws seem great in theory but can actually chip your teeth if you’re not careful.
Wash it Down with Water
The longer acid has to sit on your teeth, the greater your chances of stains and erosion. To combat this, follow up each juice with a glass of water. Even if you used a straw to consume your juice. Not only will the water help to rinse away harmful acid, but it can also fill you up more – helping you lose weight.
Get the Right Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes are the usual go-to for most households. However, when you’re juicing, the acid from those foods can sit on your teeth – causing the enamel to soften and teeth to become more sensitive. Combine that with the harsh chemicals found in most whitening toothpastes and you’ll find yourself in a lot of discomfort. Instead, use toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth so you can clean the teeth well without hurting them.
If you’ve been paying attention so far, you may think it’s best to brush after juicing to rid your mouth of potentially harmful bacteria, but also beware of over-brushing. We strongly suggest waiting about 30 min after consuming juices to brush and swishing with water to neutralize the pH in the mouth. Keep your brushing to 2-3 times per day, otherwise, you may be brushing away gum tissue (causing recession at the gum line).
Contact our office to schedule an appointment and find out if your new diet is having a positive or negative effect on your orthodontic treatment.