Fruits are known to have incredible nutritional value, though some of these vitamin-packed fruits may damage your teeth over time. One fruit that gets a lot of attention with regard to teeth, are bananas.
Although bananas are packed with potassium, some studies have suggested that bananas could have some unintended consequences on oral health.
There are both negative and positive aspects of bananas, and leveraging the danger to your teeth means taking a close look at how these factors influence oral health.
This post will take an in-depth look at whether bananas really are good or bad for your teeth, examining the positive and negative aspects of this popular—and delicious—fruit.
Positive Effects of Bananas on Your Teeth
When determining the impact of fruit on teeth, pH values are important. Lower pH values correlate with higher levels of acidity. Dentists commonly recommend staying away from consuming acidic foods, as they slowly wear away tooth enamel.
With a pH value of 4.5-5.2, bananas have remarkably low levels of acidity when compared to other fruits, making them a safe choice for healthy teeth.
Bananas have even been proven to whiten teeth, particularly when considering the peel. A banana peel has tons of potassium, magnesium, and manganese, three minerals which can remove stains and create a brighter smile.
Not only can a banana peel whiten teeth, but with high levels of calcium and vitamin D, it can also make them stronger. Calcium helps reinforce the jawbone and enamel, while vitamin D assists the body in absorbing calcium. Put together, calcium and vitamin D are a potent force in maintaining oral health.
In short, the positive effects of bananas on your teeth are:
- Low acidity: A mild pH value means that bananas should not contribute to eroding enamel
- Whitening qualities: The minerals in a banana peel can help remove stains, creating whiter teeth
- Vitamins & minerals: Calcium and vitamin D are essential to building strong, healthy teeth, and both can be found in bananas
Negative Effects of Bananas on Your Teeth
While bananas have plenty of valuable vitamins and minerals, there are some negative aspects to consider when thinking about oral health.
Bananas have high levels of starch, which dissolves slowly and can harm teeth. Without proper oral hygiene, starch particles can stick to crevices in-between teeth, attracting bacteria and creating cavities.
The sweet and delectable taste of bananas comes from a high sugar content, typically about 14 grams. High sugar is a pitfall of nearly all fruits. Natural sugars allow bacteria on teeth to produce acid, leading to tooth decay over time.
When consumed in excess, the pH value of bananas can certainly become detrimental. While 4.5-5.2 is relatively low in comparison to other acid levels, eating large quantities of bananas can potentially contribute to a loss of enamel.
In short, the negative effects of bananas on your teeth are:
- Starch: Can stick to teeth and invade crevasses, promoting cavities
- Sugar: Allows for acid production on teeth, leading to tooth decay
- pH level: Although relatively low, large quantities of bananas may erode enamel over time
All fruits have important health benefits, and bananas are a prime example of a delicious, nutrient-dense fruit.
Of course, as with any food, moderation is key. Excessive consumption can certainly outweigh the health benefits, just as poor hygiene.
Although there are potentially negative aspects of bananas, the key word here is “potential.” Practicing proper oral hygiene—brushing and flossing throughout the day—is more than enough to keep the negative aspects at bay, leaving room for all the positive nutritional values that come with bananas.
For more tips on oral health or teeth whitening, please contact us to learn more.