Are Bananas Good For Your Oral Health?

A woman holding a banana and smiling

Are Bananas Good or Bad for your Teeth?

Fruit comes in many forms and is widely enjoyed thanks to its sweetness. When most people think of fruit, they think of it as one of the healthiest foods to eat, similar to vegetables. There’s no such thing as too much fruit, right?

Although they’re healthier than processed food and desserts, many fruits are naturally high in sugar and can be harmful to your teeth. It’s important to know which fruits are benefiting your oral health rather than potentially harming it. Eating a banana is a safe choice that can even provide your teeth with benefits.

Bananas Contain Important Nutrients

Bananas provide your body with important nutrients and contain vitamins that can strengthen your teeth as well. While bananas are packed with vitamins such as fiber, protein and calcium, the two ingredients that are most beneficial for your teeth are vitamin C and magnesium.

How Vitamin C Affects Your Oral Health

Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins. It’s known as a nutrient that keeps you healthy and prevents you from getting sick. In addition, this antioxidant helps to prevent heart disease and maintain the blood levels in your body.

Not only does vitamin C protect your body from disease, but it also helps you maintain healthy gums. Since vitamin C regulates blood pressure, it’s also known to stimulate the blood vessels in your gums that support your teeth.

When people don’t get enough vitamin C, they may experience more bleeding in their gums which can be a sign of gum disease. Eating bananas will increase the vitamin C level in your body, benefiting the health of your gums.

The Benefits of Magnesium For Your Oral Health

Magnesium is also a major vitamin that is essential for the human body. Like vitamin C, it helps promote a healthy heart. In addition to this, magnesium is known to aid in bone formation, fight off diseases such as diabetes, and relieve anxiety.

This powerful nutrient strengthens your teeth, making them less susceptible to damage and decay. Similar to calcium, magnesium contains strengthening properties that help your teeth remain harder, building a healthy enamel layer.

When your teeth are stronger, they’re less likely to develop cavities. Eating bananas regularly will help keep your teeth healthy while looking great.

 

A young woman smiling with the sun and trees behind her

Bananas Are Less Acidic Than Other Fruit

While fruit is thought to be one of the healthier foods to eat, some of them can be damaging to your oral health. According to Dr. Richard Assing in Brandon, FL, citrus foods such as limes, lemons, grapefruits, and pineapples are high in acidity. This means they’re more likely to erode your tooth’s enamel, weakening your oral health.

Bananas, on the other hand, are much higher on the pH scale, making them a less acidic option. Since they strengthen your tooth’s enamel instead of damaging it, choosing bananas over acidic fruits will likely help your teeth stay whiter and resist the buildup of plaque.

Should I Eat Green Bananas?

The majority of people like to eat bananas when they’re perfectly yellow and ripe. While some also prefer them when they’re slightly brown, they will rarely eat bananas when they’re green. While unripe bananas are thought of as inedible, studies show that they may be more beneficial for your oral health than ripe ones.

Green Bananas Contain Less Sugar

Unripe, green bananas have a high starch content and therefore contain less sugar than ripened bananas. This is because their starch doesn’t turn into sugar until they ripen. Your teeth are being exposed to less decay-causing bacteria when you eat them in this form.

Green bananas are also known to help control diabetes. The starch in them breaks down differently than other high-starch foods, resulting in less sugar affecting your body. People with diabetes often have worse oral health than people who don’t, so eating green bananas will result in healthier teeth.

A bunch of green bananas on a wood background

A Myth about Bananas: They’re a Whitening Alternative

Stained teeth are a common problem due to the large amounts of coffee and other dark beverages the majority of Americans consume. To avoid using strong chemicals, many people turn to natural alternatives to whiten their teeth. Some of these methods include baking soda and activated charcoal toothpaste.

Recently, people have even been turning to fruit such as bananas to effectively whiten their teeth. They claim that the banana peel can be used to remove discoloration and create a whiter smile.

While bananas do strengthen your tooth’s enamel which helps prevent them from becoming stained, there’s no evidence that the fruit can remove them. Dentists such as Dr. Michelle Taylor in Renton, WA recommend having your teeth professionally whitened for the best results.

If you’re looking for a more natural route, they can offer safe alternatives made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Bananas Are a Healthy Snack

When choosing a snack, bananas are a good option. They provide benefits for both your oral and bodily health. Their high level of vitamins and nutrients will help strengthen your teeth and gums. However, the best way to maintain a healthy mouth is by brushing twice a day, flossing, and visiting your preferred dentist at least twice a year.