An Apple a Day Keeps the Dentist Away?

You’ve probably heard that “an apple a day will keep the doctor away,” but what about the dentist? December 1st is “Eat a Red Apple Day,” so it’s time to focus on how the fruit can affect your dental health.

Fresh fruit contains lots of healthy nutrients, and apples, in particular, come in many varieties, so you can easily find one that suits your preferences. Apples also have a natural sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Apples are sometimes referred to as “mini-toothbrushes,” because they can help remove stains and food particles from your teeth and gums. They are hard and crunchy, so they require a lot of chewing, which can stimulate saliva production to help rinse your mouth, neutralize pH, and clean your teeth. A hard bite can also loosen particles that are stuck between teeth and hiding in your mouth.

But there’s more to an apple than its white flesh. An apple peel contains antioxidants that will keep your body strong. Since the natural fibers in apple skins can help scrub your mouth clean and reduce bacteria buildup, it can also help decrease bad breath. Unlike some fruits, apples are low in sugar and acidity, which makes them good for your teeth.

Even with all the health benefits, you need to be careful. If you have TMJ disorder or problems with your jaw, you may not be able to open your mouth wide enough to bite into an apple. Also, a bite may chip, weaken, or loosen your teeth if you have poor dental health. To avoid problems when biting into an apple, try slicing the fruit into smaller pieces.

Although apples are healthiest when eaten in their natural, fresh form, you could add a little apple intake to your diet in other ways. Applesauce, apple juice, and baked apples are all fun, delicious ways to eat the fruit, and you can opt for sugar-free varieties. Apples contain enough natural sugar to taste sweet on their own. And remember, it’s still important to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, even after eating a nutritious red apple.

Do you need to add more apples to your diet? To see how your diet is affecting your dental health, visit Dr. Foust. Contact Dental Impressions of Ankeny, IA at (515) 965-0230 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Polk City, Bondurant, Alleman, Elkhart, and surrounding areas.