An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it could also be keeping your dentist busy, according to a recent survey of oral hygiene experts.
The warning about snacking on sugary fruit comes from a poll of 458 dentists, hygienists and dental professionals.
Four out of five professionals warned that snacking on fruits contributes to decay, plaque build-up and enamel erosion, and a third said that apples can cause major damage to teeth and gums, alongside chocolate and biscuits, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
The findings echo research by Professor David Bartlett at the King's Dental Institute, which found eating fruit may be as damaging to dental health as carbonated drinks.
Just under half of the experts questioned in the poll warned that fruit juice is also a key cause of tooth and gum problems and more than a third pinpointed savoury snacks such as crisps as problematic too.
"We may be keeping our teeth longer, but there are still gaping holes in many people's dental health regimes," said Robin Seymour, Emeritus Professor of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University and leading periodontologist.
"A 2009 national survey of adult dental health found that 23% of adults brush their teeth only once a day and, despite the popularity of more efficient powered toothbrushes, many of those who brushed twice a day still had visible deposits of plaque, which cause dental decay and gum disease," added Seymour.