Here's what you should do to protect your pearly whites from cavities when drinking juices.

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Over the past few years, juicing has become increasingly popular for its health benefits and for aiding with weight loss. While there are many nutritional benefits to juicing, there is a potentially unfortunate downside to this liquid trend: cavities. Cosmetic dentists Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in New York are offering an explanation as to why these drinks are causing an increase in dental issues, and advice on how to alleviate potential problems.

The problems:

  • Juices have a surplus of sugar—some have more than smoothies and even soda! Lime, cranberry and orange juices are the most acidic—even more so than vinegar. With the high sugar content, drinking these juices is the equivalent of bathing teeth in chocolate.
  • The sugar in the juices is consumed by the bacteria that lives in our mouths, which is converted into acid, wears away enamel and can cause cavities.
  • Although this trend is meant for a healthier lifestyle, the side effects on teeth can be damaging.

The solutions:

  • Sip from a straw, because this will help keep juices away from the surface of the teeth. Don’t sip it too slowly because the constant bathing of the tooth in sugar can cause damage.
  • Brush the juice off of teeth, but not immediately after drinking. Instead, wait 45 minutes to an hour. The acidic juices can temporarily soften the enamel, and it’s important not to brush the teeth while they are in this softer state. This way, the acidity won’t eat through the teeth and the sugar won’t cause cavities.
  • Dilute juices by adding water to make it less concentrated—and not as harsh on the teeth.
  • Opt for a charcoal-based juice. Activated charcoal can be used as a natural teeth whitener, as it pulls toxins and tannins (teeth-staining culprits in coffee, tea and wine) and removes them from teeth.