Teeth are made for breaking down food. However, the wrong foods can work in reverse. They can eat away your enamel and leave you with cavities and tooth decay. We put together a list of foods bad for teeth. Some items on the list are worth avoiding altogether. Others aren’t unhealthy, but require moderation or, at the very least, rinsing your mouth after you eat them.
Ice in and of itself isn’t dangerous for your teeth. It’s eating, specifically chewing, ice that’s a problem. Unlike many of the other foods on this list, ice doesn’t contain damaging sugar or acid. However, chewing on hard foods like ice can break or chip your teeth, leading to a visit to the dentist, or even a dental emergency.
2. Coffee and Tea (but mostly what you add to them)
Alone, coffee and tea aren’t necessarily bad for you. Unless you drink your coffee black and you like your tea straight, there’s a good chance you’re adding sugar. Extra sugar in any drink provides fuel for cavities. Coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth and stain your teeth. You don’t have to quit drinking coffee and tea altogether, but be aware of how much you’re drinking and added sugar. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water.
3. Sticky Foods
Sticky foods that get caught between your teeth and stay stuck to your teeth can cause cavities. The main culprits are usually chewy, sticky candies. Halloween may be exciting for kids, but it’s generally terrible for their teeth. Candy isn’t the only culprit either. Dried fruit is also a problem. Fruit contains natural sugars, but natural sugars can cause cavities, too. If you do eat sticky foods, rinse your mouth out and floss afterward to remove residue.
Soda gets blamed for a long list of health issues with good reason. Sugary sodas give the plaque bacteria in your mouth the fuel to make acids that attack your teeth. Diet sodas may not have sugar, but they are typically acidic, which can break down your enamel. Any caffeinated varieties can also dry out your mouth.
Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth, contributing to decay and infections. Frequent, heavy drinking can also lead to mouth cancer. Be aware of your consumption, and drink plenty of water.
6. Sour Candies
Yes, sour candies fall under the sticky foods category. However, these lip-puckering favorites are extra hard on your teeth. Not only do they stick to your teeth, but they’re also extra acidic and break down your enamel. Eat them in very limited quantities, or skip them altogether.
Potato chips, crackers, and bread rise to the top of the list of starches that cause problems. Your saliva breaks starches down into sugar. Potato chips, crackers, and bread are all easily caught between and stick to your teeth. That means the sugar in them is also in contact with your teeth and feeding cavity-causing bacteria.
Citrus fruits are excellent for your health. However, they can be hard on your teeth. Their high acidity levels break down tooth enamel, which can cause discoloration and leave the teeth vulnerable to decay. You can still eat citrus fruits, but rinse out your mouth with water afterward.
9. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks aren’t inherently unhealthy, but many brands and flavors are packed with sugar. Sugar, that nasty bacteria feeder, leads to cavities and decay.
10. Hard Foods
Hard candies, taco shells, and even crunchy granola bars can chip or crack a tooth. A dental emergency isn’t worth the moment of crunchy pleasure.
A Final Note on Foods Bad for Teeth
Avoiding foods bad for teeth can prevent the damage and decay that leads to tooth loss and expensive dental emergencies. At Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute, we’re devoted to your ongoing oral health. Eat healthily, but if tooth decay or damage has led to tooth loss, don’t hesitate to set up a free consultation. We can get you back on the road to good long-term oral health.