Rochester Dentist Answers: Are Apples Bad for Your Teeth?

Choosing to eat an apple for a snack, or packing one in our child’s lunchbox, seems like a no-brainer. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as the old saying goes. What about the dentist, though? Long thought to be a healthy option that could even be considered a substitute for brushing your teeth, apples might not be such a super food in terms of dental health. Your Rochester dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, explains how that crisp fall apple you’ve been looking forward to might be damaging to your teeth.

A is for…Acid

Take your pick: apple or soda. True, the apple is going to be a much better choice in terms of nutrients for your body. However, when you are concerned about your teeth, the amount of acid in an apple can give carbonated beverages a run for their money. Acid causes enamel erosion on your teeth. Your teeth rely on the protective layer of enamel as a barrier to stop tooth decay. Certain fruits and fruit juices are full of acid. Even though they are considered nutritious by certain standards, many dentists recommend that you consider acidic fruits like the apple more of a dessert. Don’t run to the bathroom to brush your teeth right away, however. Allow 30 minutes before you brush, so that your tooth enamel can re-harden.

Apples and Tooth Decay

According to a study in the United Kingdom, cross-breeding apples to come up with newer, more delicious types has led to a raised sugar content of 50% in the tangy red fruit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that one average apple has the equivalent of four teaspoons of sugar. Sugar is the favorite food of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that lead to tooth decay. S. mutans metabolize the sugar you eat, creating lactic acid.  This means that between the high sugar content, and the  naturally occurring acid in apples, your teeth will be getting a double dose of potential enamel erosion and tooth decay exposure.

Maintain Your Dental Checkups in Rochester

Maintaining your dental checkups every six months will help stave off tooth decay. If you would like to schedule an examination, contact our Rochester dentist office at (507)281-3659. We are happy to provide patients with comprehensive dentistry  in Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, the 55902 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.