Like many timeworn sayings, we often repeat these without really thinking about them. As kids, we all learned that apples=good health, but few of us, if any, ever investigated if that were true or not.
Since our business and interests lie more with oral health, than overall health, let’s just say that the idea of eating more fresh fruits and veggies is generally a plus in terms of your health and well-being.
But what about your oral health? Apples do contain quite a bit of natural sugars and even acids. How could they be good for your teeth?
It has long been held by many people that eating an apple, especially after a meal, was an effective way of cleaning the teeth. The idea was that the fiber in apples could clean away the plaque as well as stimulating saliva production (which helps to maintain pH in your mouth and saliva is a very important part of solid oral health).
But the studies that supported this idea were flawed and the question of the dental benefits of an apple still remained unclear.
More recent dental studies on the if apples are actually good for your teeth have sought to bring some clear answers to this question. And to date, the answer is that yes, there is some benefit, but not as much as we have been taught.
On the negative side, these studies showed that:
Perhaps, surprisingly at this point, there is some real benefit. An apple, as well as other fruits, have compounds called polyphenols. These polyphenols can be pretty potent and effective. In fact, studies have shown that the polyphenols from apples are actually pretty effective at inhibiting the formation of plaque.
The polyphenols also seem to be pretty good in the fight against cavity formation. This is due to their ability to inhibit how bacteria processes food and also by reducing how bacteria can stick to your teeth. Basically, the natural components in apples help to inhibit the bad bacteria in your mouth and so have a beneficial effect upon your oral health.
In conclusion, eating an apple can be good for your teeth BUT does not replace tooth brushing or flossing, at all. So keep up the brushing and flossing.
And, just for good measure, it would be a wise idea to give your mouth a quick rinse of water any time after eating apples or fruits. This does not have to be done immediately. In fact, it is often better to wait 20 minutes or so after eating before rinsing, this allows the saliva to go to work directly after eating.
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The question of chewing sugary gums, or any kind of candy, has long since been answered as bad for your teeth. The sugars feed the cavity causing bacteria in your mouth, they produce lots of acid and this then destroys your teeth and encourages gum disease.
But how about non-sugar gums? Can they actually help in the fight against tooth decay?