Avoid These Foods & Save Your Teeth

January 31, 2022 Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC

Our teeth go through a lot on a daily basis, between coffee, energy drinks, sugary cereal, desserts, and other acidic foods or beverages. Most of the time, it’s not a shock when our Shelby Township, MI, dentists tell you that certain foods are worse than others but there are some that may still surprise you.

Of course, you can still eat whatever you’d like. You just have to eat or drink things in moderation and be sure to practice daily oral hygiene habits. Our dentists simply want to make you aware of the foods that can damage teeth.

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Here are 6 food or drink examples to be more cautious about.

Foods & Drinks to Consume in Moderation Include:

1. Chewy/Sticky/Sour Sweets

Sour, sticky candy is probably one of the worst foods for your teeth. They’re generally high in sugar and acidity, which break down your enamel and feed bad bacteria. Eating sweets like this is fine every now and then but our dentists advise against treating yourself every day.

2. Acidic Fruits

Citrus fruits like lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit, etc. are not exactly teeth-friendly. The citric acid wears down your enamel and can cause enamel erosion. Eventually you may develop yellow teeth due to discoloration and the now exposed dentin, the layer underneath your enamel.

Unlike other topics on this list, citrus fruits have some significant health benefits so don’t cut them out entirely. They’re an amazing source of Vitamin C which plays a huge role in supporting your immune system, protecting against heart disease, and preventing diseases like scurvy.

3. Soft Drinks & Alcohol

Alcohol dries the mouth which cuts down saliva production letting bacteria grow more easily and plaque stays on teeth longer. Beer and other citrus drinks are acidic and dark drinks can stain teeth. Plus, if you chew the ice in your drinks you are at a higher risk of damaged, cracked, or chipped teeth.

Similar to sour candies, soda also has a high sugar and acid content. You can counteract its adverse effects by rinsing your mouth with water to wash away residual acid or use a fluoride mouthwash. Chilling acidic drinks and using a straw can also help minimize their effect on your teeth.

4. Starchy Foods

A lot of people love carbs, but your teeth aren’t exactly their biggest fan. When people think of foods that are bad for their teeth, they generally don’t think of bread or potatoes. However, they can be if they linger in your mouth too long and the same goes for a lot of starches.

The problem arises when the starch gets in between your teeth or stuck in the ridges on top of them. If you don’t floss them out or brush/rinse them away, they’ll break down into sugar which feeds the dental plaque. Be sure to schedule a teeth cleaning with our dentists in addition to your at-home oral care so we can help remove leftover plaque and tartar.

5. Popcorn

The popcorn husk (also called hull) is the thin covering around the kernel, and they tend to find their way between your teeth or between your gums and teeth. This can be removed by flossing, but you may not even realize it’s there.

Eventually, the husk will attract bacteria that can gather around the gum line causing damage long-term. Biting down on unpopped kernels is equivalent to biting down on ice which is not advisable.

6. Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are deceptively bad for your teeth. It’s easy to think, “oh it’s a fruit and fruit is healthy.” They’re a popular snack for outdoor adventures and roads. However, because they’re dehydrated, their sugar is more concentrated and more sugar is often added.

A lot of dried fruits are chewy and sticky so there’s a chance they can pull on fillings that were protecting your teeth. Their stickiness also helps them stay on your teeth longer, allowing them to do more harm than good.

Request an Appointment

Our dentists in Shelby Township, MI want to help you maintain your oral health and get a smile you love. Whether that means coming in for a teeth cleaning, replacing a missing tooth, or receiving another service we offer, please feel free to call the dental office of Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC at (586) 992-9222 to request an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.

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