Top 10 Foods That Damage Your Teeth
Unless you carry around toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go, there are certain foods and beverages that you should steer clear of to keep your mouth and teeth as healthy as can be. While these foods and drinks don’t need to be avoided entirely, they should be consumed sparingly. Whenever possible, brush and floss immediately after enjoying them:
- Ice – Satisfying though it may be, chomping on ice wreaks havoc on your teeth. If you must get your oral fixation, try sucking on ice instead, but don’t actively bite down on it.
- Citrus Fruits – The acidic quality of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes wears away at tooth enamel. As this protective barrier erodes, teeth are left more vulnerable to decay.
- Coffee – If you take your coffee with sugar, considering switching to black to avoid the added sweets. Remember too that coffee and other caffeinated beverages tend to dry out mouths, which can promote decay. When drunk too frequently, it stains teeth too.
- Hard Candy – You’ll never find bowls of hard candies in dentists’ offices. Even sugar-free varieties can crack teeth if they are chewed on. Sugary hard candies are especially problematic because they’re held in the mouth for extended periods, giving sugar more time to cause damage.
- Popcorn – In addition to getting stuck between the teeth, popcorn usually includes hard, partially popped or unpopped kernels that can easily dislodge fillings, damage sealant and crack teeth.
- Diet Soda – Swapping out sugary soda for diet soda seems wise, but diet soda is every bit as bad due to its high acid content.
- Apples – An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it seems to attract the dentist. These crunchy fruits are surprisingly good at cracking teeth, and sugary bits easily get stuck between teeth. Cut up your apple first before enjoying it.
- Corn on the Cob – Like apples, corn on the cob can damage teeth, dentures and fillings. It also gets lodged between the teeth where it causes plaque buildup.
- Sticky Candy – Taffy, gummy bears and other sticky candies are downright terrible for your teeth. If even minute traces are left stuck to the teeth, they can trigger serious decay. Happily, dark chocolate seems to be the exception and may even help prevent the buildup of plaque.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich – This all-American favorite’s three ingredients are all bad for the teeth. Bread, jelly and peanut butter are all loaded with sugar. Jelly and peanut butter are sticky too, making this an especially bad choice.
If and when you do enjoy the above foods and drinks, make a point of brushing and flossing afterward as quickly as possible. By avoiding them entirely, your teeth will be better for it.