If your diet contains a large amount of fruit and fruit juice—especially of the citrus variety—you're at risk of increased tooth enamel erosion. That can lead to sensitivity and tooth decay. Take steps to protect your teeth against the sugars and acid in fruit so you can maintain excellent dental health.
Limit Fruit Consumption to a Few Times Per Day
Avoid grazing on fruit and sipping on juice all day long. These habits keep your teeth bathed in fructose sugar and acid. Citrus fruits have the worst acidic effects, but most fruits contain some amount of acid. Even apples, sometimes touted as being good for teeth, have been shown to cause enamel erosion.
It's actually best for dental health to eat fruit with other foods instead of by itself. This reduces the acidic effects. Instead of relying on fruit for a midday snack, have it with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sip water during the day instead of fruit juice. If you do indulge in juice or a piece of fruit midday, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water afterward.
Increase Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D
Include a high-quality daily vitamin and mineral supplement in your diet so you obtain sufficient calcium and vitamin D. Calcium strengthens teeth, and vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium in the body.
Drink fruit juice fortified with calcium if you're not already doing so. A study published in 2014 found that calcium added to fruit juice lowers the acidity of the beverage and also causes significantly less calcium loss from tooth enamel.
In addition, consume more foods and beverages that naturally contain calcium. Dairy products are good sources of calcium, for example, and milk is fortified with vitamin D. Some brands of yogurt are as well.
Chew Sugar-free Gum With Xylitol
Chewing gum increases saliva production, and saliva has protective effects for teeth. Some sugar-free gum products contain the sweetener xylitol, which also has protective effects for enamel and reduces the oral pH level, making your mouth less acidic.
Brush Teeth Effectively
After you consume acidic fruit or fruit juice, wait at least half an hour to brush. Acid softens tooth enamel for a short amount of time, which can allow brushing to damage the enamel.
Use a gentle brush and don't be overly vigorous. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, as that substance strengthens enamel.
Consult a Dentist
If you're dedicated to eating a large amount of fruit every day, schedule a checkup with a dentist to learn whether any negative effects on your tooth enamel have already occurred. You might benefit from getting sealants applied to your teeth. Although sealants are more common for pediatric patients than for adults, dentists will apply them for patients who have trouble with enamel erosion.