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APPLES & ENAMEL EROSION

by Dr George Puhak

Did you know that eating too many apples may lead to what is termed "Enamel Erosion"? Studies confirm that most apples are extremely acidic...one Granny Smith Apple is almost as acidic as a lemon. If you eat too many apples a day, the enamel on your teeth can slowly erode, leading to sensitive, sometimes darker-appearing, worn or concave areas on the faces of teeth. Worse yet, if you brush immediately after eating apples, the erosion process can accelerate, making dental restorations difficult & costly. What can you do?

  • Apples are part of a healthy diet (better than eating plain, refined carbs) but avoid eating too many. Science doesn't yet recommend an exact number, but common sense tells us to take it easy.
  • Never brush your teeth immediately after eating an apple or any acidic foods. Immediate Brushing will make erosion worse. After eating an apple, it is advised to simply rinse your mouth with water or milk, and wait an hour or two before brushing.
  • If your teeth become sensitive, or start to show signs of wear or discoloration, an "ultra" soft toothbrush is recommended.  Avoid hard scrubbing. A mild, non-abrasive toothpaste can be used (minimum amount, pea-sized or less), and better yet,one that is specific for "sensitive" teeth or for teeth exhibiting "enamel wear".  Sometimes, prescription toothpastes can be prescribed. Avoid teeth-whitening toothpastes because many contain abrasives that can make erosion worse.
  • Some patients who enjoy eating raw vegetables can cause further damage to their teeth. Review your diet and avoid eating too much raw, gritty foods.

The old saying "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away" still holds true when it comes to a healthy diet, but maybe the tried & true saying -- "Moderation in all things" -- is better advice for the apple lover.

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Keep Smiling!