Tooth decay: Risk factors for dental caries can be dried fruit

Poor oral hygiene is undoubtedly the most important risk factor for dental caries, but the intake of certain foods can also wreak havoc on teeth. While all fruits provide a wide range of nutrients, certain varieties may contain higher concentrations of sugar due to their preparation method. This can increase their ability to adhere to teeth and contribute to plaque buildup.

WebMD explains that dry fruit concentrates all of the fruit’s nutrients into a smaller package.

“That means eating less dried fruit by weight to reach the same calorie threshold of fresh fruit,” the health agency explains.

This also means that the sugar content of fruit becomes concentrated, giving dried fruit its characteristic sticky consistency.

Some studies have drawn attention to the potential impact of the fruit’s texture on dental health, especially cavities.

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According to the American Dental Association, the stickiness causes the fruit to get stuck in the crevices between the teeth.

Anything sweet that sticks to the teeth for a long time can contribute to plaque buildup or tooth decay.

Altura Periodontics explains: “While dried fruits can be part of a healthy diet, their sticky consistency can cause them to stick to teeth.

“Plus, the plaque created by these foods can damage your teeth long after you’ve finished eating.

“Swap dried fruit for fresh fruit as much as possible. Snack on grapes instead of raisins to avoid unhealthy teeth.

Dental caries is a cumulative disease in which bacteria in dental plaque ferment sugar in the oral cavity, resulting in the production of acid.

When the pH in the mouth drops below 5.5, the tooth enamel softens, and after repeated insults, dental cavities and caries can develop.

An easy way to avoid complications from the sugary composition of dried fruit is to drink plenty of water afterwards.

The NHS explains: “Dried fruit should be eaten with meals, not as a snack, to reduce the risk of tooth decay.”

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Both of these factors will make you feel full faster, leading you to consume fewer calories overall.

It is equally important to note that reports have highlighted a number of potentially positive dental health benefits from eating dried fruit.

This includes the need to chew the fruit, which stimulates saliva flow and increases levels of other antimicrobials.

Therefore, in 2016, the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggested that advice on dried fruit consumption take into account its nutritional benefits, including high fiber and other beneficial micronutrients.

Tooth decay: Risk factors for dental caries can be dried fruit

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