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 the rest of the acidic over-sugared American diet. It’s pretty common sense which foods are bad for your teeth, but a couple on this list may surprise you.

This blog post is not supposed to mean you can never have these again, but to help make you aware of what foods can damage your teeth. For example, citrus fruits have a lot of health benefits, but their acidity can erode enamel. Enjoying these foods and drinks in moderation is much better for your oral health.

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Problematic Foods

Chewy/Sticky/Sour Sweets

Sour sticky candy is probably the worst food for your teeth. They’re generally high in sugar and acidity, which break down your enamel and feed bad bacteria. Plus, they tend to stay around longer than you may even realize.

Acidic Fruits

Citrus fruits like lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit, etc. are not exactly teeth-friendly. The citric acid wears down your enamel and eventually your teeth will look a dull yellow 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. 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.

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 getting your teeth chipped, cracked, or damaged.

Similar to sour candies, pop 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.

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 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.

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.

Watch Out for 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 road trips. 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 around 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 teeth cleaning, replacing a missing tooth, or another service we offer, you can contact us online or call Dr. Jeffrey T. Baker at (586) 992-9222!

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