They have become the latest craze in healthy living. But while gulping down green gunge every day may lead to weight loss, dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye, of the London Smiling dental group, warns soaring numbers of people are suffering dental problems due to juice diets.
Advocates claim juicing not only helps a person slim down, but can detox the body of toxins and even help cure skin problems like eczema.
It is also a good way of eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing vitamin deficiencies and increasing a person’s intake of fibre, which helps with digestion and bowel conditions, advocates claim.
Fruit juice: too sweet and too acidic
We are often told that the sugars in fruit are natural and are therefore easier for our body to convert into energy, and less likely to store as fat. However, all the extra sugar on our teeth and gums is likely to cause decay and serious dental problems. Your tooth enamel can be damaged, as well as your gums, which hold your teeth in place. If your teeth don’t rot, or become highly sensitive, there’s a chance they may fall out if you continue to ‘detox’ your body in this way.
Most fruits, especially citrus fruits, due to their acids, can damage your teeth. This is especially true for lemons. They contain high amounts of citric acid that quickly wears away at the enamel of your teeth.
Enamel is hard to grow back and once it’s severely damaged, it can even be irreparable.
Signs of enamel erosion include:
- Tooth discoloration– Enamel gives teeth their white appearance. Once it wears away, the teeth may have a yellow tint because dentin, the substance that forms the inside of your teeth, is showing through.
- Transparent edges– If the edges of the teeth are transparent, this is a sure sign that they enamel is thin and not as strong as it should be.
- Tooth sensitivity– The dentin is exposed to the nerve of the tooth. Therefore, if the enamel is being eroded, the inside of the tooth is exposed to temperatures that make eating or drinking cold things uncomfortable.
How to get around these risks
Wait! Don’t give up on fruit juice just yet. Despite the potential for harmful effects, there are things you can do to prevent damage. Here are a few:
- Drink these juice detoxes with ice. The lowered temperature will reduce the amount of available acid that can touch your teeth.
- Don’t brush your teeth immediately after. This will wear away the enamel even more as the citric acid is still fresh on your teeth. Before you do brush, rinse your mouth with water.
- Drink lemon water carefully so that it does not touch your teeth or drink with a straw so that it bypasses your teeth.
- Try essential oil instead. It has all the benefits and are perfect replacement for the actual fruit juice. This makes it healthier for your teeth! 1 -2 drops in a glass of water is perfect!
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.