Diet and Dental Care: The Best Food for Your Smile

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Ask Your Dentist: Are Pomegranates Good For Your Teeth?

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Pomegranates are becoming increasingly popular with health food lovers. These unusual fruits can boost heart health, prevent cancer and ease the symptoms of arthritis, so it's unsurprising that pomegranate juice is now a popular drink for Australians. Learn more about the health-giving properties of pomegranates, and find out if these fruits can also help your teeth and gums.

Pomegranate properties

Pomegranates are full of natural health-boosting chemicals, including:

  • Antioxidants that can stop plaque building up in your arteries. Blocked arteries can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Polyphenols which stop the growth of protein cells in the brain that can cause cognitive decline.
  • Phytochemicals that can stop your body producing the oestrogen that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Enzymes in pomegranates can also slow down the cartilage deterioration that osteoarthritis patients suffer with.

Pomegranate juice and dental health

Aside from the benefits mentioned above, pomegranates can also help you prevent the plaque build-up that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

One study investigated the effect of pomegranate juice on dental plaque. Participants in the research did not clean their teeth for twenty-four hours. These people then rinsed their mouths with 30ml of pomegranate juice. Researchers measured the amount of plaque build-up before and after the participants rinsed with the juice.

The study concluded that pomegranate juice can significantly lower the number of oral bacteria that can form plaque. Notably, the juice was particularly effective against lactobacilli bacteria. Participants in the study saw a 46 percent reduction in this type of bacteria after they rinsed with pomegranate juice.

Potential risks

Fresh fruit juices are naturally acidic, so it's important to consume pomegranate juice carefully, or you could cause unwanted side effects. Acidic fruit juice can actually erode the protective enamel layer on your teeth, causing tooth erosion and decay.

To avoid the risk of tooth erosion, you should drink pomegranate juice through a straw. This cuts down contact between the juice and the tooth enamel. It's also a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after a juice drink to help curb any excess acidity. Sugar-free chewing gum and calcium-rich cheese can also help neutralise acid and protect your teeth from damage.

Pomegranate juice has several healthy properties that can help prevent various chronic conditions. This tasty fruit can also help reduce oral plaque, but it's important to make sure the juice doesn't cause unwanted acidity in your mouth.

Talk with professional dentists, like those at All Smiles Dental Centre, for more information on how to keep your teeth healthy.