Dentist issues warning over popular hot weather fruit

Mangoes are high in sugar
-Credit: (Image: Pexels)

It's not uncommon to want to reach for a juicy fruit such as a mango during hot weather. Indeed, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a healthy option as well as a refreshing one.

But one dentist has issued a warning, saying that although mangoes are tasty and nutritious, they aren't such good news for your teeth. But, with a bit of care, they can be enjoyed without compromising your oral health.

Dr Andrej Bozic, from Dentum, said: "Mangoes are high in natural sugars, which can feed harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria produce acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities."

Dr Bozic explained that the problem worsens if mango residues linger on your teeth, creating a breeding ground for decay-causing bacteria. To enjoy mangoes safely, he offers some valuable tips.

Firstly, aim to brush your teeth shortly after eating mangoes. "If you are unable to do this, at least rinse your mouth with water," he said. “Flossing is also crucial to remove any fruit particles stuck in the gaps."

He also advises waiting at least 30 minutes after eating mangoes or other sweet treats before brushing your teeth. “Acids from the fruit can soften enamel, and brushing too soon can cause damage,” he warned.

Drinking water while eating mangoes can help wash away sugars and acids from your teeth. “This simple step can significantly reduce the risk of decay,” Dr Bozic said.

Additionally, chewing xylitol-sweetened gum after eating can stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralise acids and wash away food particles. "Saliva is your mouth’s natural defence against tooth decay," he added.

Another tip is to limit the frequency of mango consumption. Dr Bozic recommends enjoying mangoes as part of a meal rather than snacking on them throughout the day. "This reduces the time your teeth are exposed to sugar and acids," he said. The combination of other foods can help neutralise the acids and reduce their harmful effects.

If you’re drinking mango juice, use a straw to minimise contact with your teeth. “This can help reduce the exposure of your teeth to the sugars in the juice," Dr Bozic said.

While mangoes are particularly problematic due to their high sugar content, other fruits can also pose a risk if not consumed with care. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are highly acidic and can erode enamel. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dried apricots, are sticky and can cling to teeth, providing prolonged exposure to sugars.

"To enjoy these fruits without harming your teeth, the same principles apply: brush and floss regularly, drink water, chew sugar-free gum, and limit their consumption to meal times," Dr Bozic said.

Dr Bozic emphasises the importance of general dental health practices alongside specific tips for fruit consumption. Using fluoride toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel and provides extra protection against decay.

He also recommends eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products to support overall dental health. "A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth,” Dr Bozic. He also advises avoiding sugary drinks, opting for water or milk instead, and stresses the importance of regular dental check-ups.

"Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings to spot early signs of decay and remove any plaque build-up," he said.