When it comes to offering major health benefits and aiding weight-loss, juicing has its pros. But as we sip on a green juice, giving ourselves a pat on the back, our teeth are the last thing on our mind. You know about the health benefits, and you know how great you feel when juicing, but have you ever thought about what it’s doing to your teeth?
Here’s the problem: sugar. At times, juices can have more than smoothies and soda. Juices with lime, cranberry, and orange juice can be even more acidic than vinegar. The sugar gets consumed by bacteria living in our mouths, which then converts to acid and wears away the enamel of our teeth, and of course there’s always the risk of cavities. We’ve asked cosmetic dentists Drs. Lowenberg, Lituchy, and Kantor to share some tips to help keep our juice-loving teeth pearly white.
1. The Last Straw
Sometimes, it’s as simple as reaching for a straw. The next time you open up a juice, grab one. This keeps the juice away from the surface of your teeth. Don’t spend too much time savoring the flavors—it’s better to drink quickly rather than have your teeth bathing in sugar.
2. Timing Is Everything
After a juice, brushing your teeth is important, but not immediately after drinking. Instead, wait 45 minutes to an hour. This is because acidic juices soften your enamel, and it’s important to leave them be during this softer state. Brushing after the proper amount of time will stop the acidity from eating through your teeth and the sugar from causing cavities.
3. Tone It Down
Another easy tip is to dilute your juice with water. This will make the juice far less concentrated and therefore not as harsh on your teeth. Plus, the juice itself will last a little longer, making your next meal not so far off.
4. Secret Ingredient
Look for charcoal. A charcoal-based juice can actually work to remove stains from your teeth. Activated charcoal is a natural teeth-whitener and works to pull toxins and tannins from your smile. Tannins are found in wine, tea, and coffee—teeth-enemies that tend to adhere to the plaque on your teeth and cause yellowing. Dirty Lemon’s Raw Detox contains activated charcoal as well as ginger, dandelion and lemon juice. And companies like Juice Served Here, Juice Generation, and LuliTonix all began including charcoal in their beverages last year. The ingredient not only helps to pull toxins and tannins from your smile but it also has the same detoxifying benefits for your body and skin. But don’t go overboard, Los Angeles–based holistic nutritionist Heather Wilson told Vogue, “Think of activated charcoal like a sponge. It doesn’t know the difference between nutrients or toxins,” says Wilson, who suggests consulting your doctor before introducing it to your diet. “If you take medication, supplements, or a pain reliever, the charcoal could absorb that, too.”
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