The 10 Worst Foods For Your Teeth
In the same way that some foods are less than ideal for keeping your physique in check, there are many foods that are bad for you before they even hit your stomach! Even foods that nourish your body can be bad for your teeth. We’ve compiled a list to help you know which foods to keep your eye on.
There’s nothing quite as tasty as a piece of toasted white bread with a little butter. Unfortunately, your teeth disagree with your taste buds. White bread is packed full of sugar. As you chew, you masticate the bread into a gummy, sugary paste that sticks to your teeth and gets into your gums. If you’re not a diligent brusher, these sugars can cause cavities! When you’re selecting your bread, go for types that aren’t as high in refined sugars. Whole-grain sprouted grain, or seeded loaves of bread are a better choice not only nutritionally, but are much less sugary than normal white bread.
Sour, sugary candies are definitely a fan favorite. We eat them in movie theaters, on car trips, or even while we’re sitting at our work desks. While these deceptive sweets might taste like fruit, they’re actually one of the worst offenders when it comes to your teeth. Sour candies contain additives like citric acid and other types of ingredients that are harsh on teeth. Acidic foods wear away the enamel on your teeth, making them more sensitive to temperature, and more susceptible to cavities. Believe it or not, chocolate is a better choice because it dissolves quickly and rinses away more easily.
Ice couldn’t possibly be bad for you. It’s just frozen water. It’s calorie and additive-free. Think again! Chewing ice causes undue wear and tear on your teeth. Crunching down on a fresh ice cube can damage the enamel on your teeth. It’s even possible to crack or chip your teeth while eating ice. We’ve even seen crowns come loose as the result of avid ice chewing! If you find yourself craving ice, it may be the result of low iron. But take it from us: Spinach and other iron-rich foods are a much more efficient way to get your craving satisfied without breaking a tooth!
Soda. Pop. Coke. No matter what you call it, it’s not particularly good for your teeth. New studies suggest that it can be as terrible for your teeth as certain illicit drugs. The acid in carbonated sodas slowly breaks down your tooth enamel over time. Drinking a full-sugar soda is even worse. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar and the byproduct that they excrete is one of the leading causes of bad breath. And if those reasons weren’t enough, carbonated drinks with dyes in them can permanently stain your teeth. The worst part is that brushing your teeth won’t even save you from this one. In fact, brushing may even speed up the decay of your teeth.
Is the best part of waking up worth damaging your teeth? Coffee (or tea) in their naturally brewed forms can actually be good for you. However, many people can’t stomach the taste of black coffee without a hint of something sweet. As we’ve mentioned, sugar is just not good for your mouth. And unfortunately, neither is caffeine. Caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you, and dry your mouth out. A lack of saliva hastens tooth decay. Additionally, coffee has been known to stain your teeth, not to mention it makes your breath smell bad. We’re not saying you have to give up coffee, but be mindful, and drink plenty of water afterward!
While drinking a glass of red wine may be heart-healthy, when it comes to tooth health, alcohol can be tricky. Just as with caffeine, wine, beer, and other spirits sap your body of water. When you have a dry mouth, the saliva that typically keeps food from hanging around is significantly reduced. Spit is an important part of oral health, which is one of the many reasons staying hydrated is so important. In addition to drying out your mouth, some wine and other alcoholic beverages are usually full of sugar which can cause tooth decay and even discoloration.
Acidic Fruits and Vegetables
How could fruits and vegetables possibly be bad for you? As we stated above, many foods that are otherwise healthy choices from a nutritional standpoint can actually harm your teeth. Foods that are high in acids like grapefruits, oranges, or tomatoes have a tendency to do a number on your enamel. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid these nutrient-packed foods altogether. If you consume these foods often, remember to eat them alongside other foods to protect your teeth.
Nothing hits the spot quite like the crispy crunch of a potato chip or the flakey buttery goodness of a cracker. The average person consumes pounds of starchy foods and snacks a year. And as the case with most snacks, you can’t ever eat just one. Much like white bread, starchy foods get gummy and stick on and in between your teeth. If you choose to chow down on your favorite bag of chips, make sure that you brush and floss your teeth to dislodge any clingy pieces of leftover food to keep your chompers chompin’.
Sticky foods, even healthy ones can sometimes damage your teeth. Caramels or taffy, aside from being packed with sugar, can tug out fillings or loosen weak teeth. Dried fruits like raisins, dates, or apricots are full of sugar and due to their sticky nature tend to hang around in hard to reach places. It takes a lot of flossing and toothpicks to work these foods out of your gums and off the surface of your teeth. Brush often and don’t forget to floss!
This might come as a shock, but those sweet little treats that are meant to freshen our breath can actually make it worse and damage your teeth. The fact of the matter is that most mints are made mostly of sugar. We suck on mints, usually stashing them in our cheeks to enjoy them slowly over time. But because of this, the bacteria in our mouths have a literal field day with that lump of sugar slowly melting against our teeth. The best way around this is to opt for a sugar-free mint or gum to prevent the bacteria from feasting.
Foods That Bolster Oral Health
We’ve talked a lot about foods that are bad for your teeth and gums, but we have teeth so that we can more effectively eat food. Here is a list of foods that won't harm your teeth!
- Sugar-free candies
- Leafy greens
- Lean Meat
Ultimately, all food will cause a little bit of tooth wear. But these foods in particular are full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to combat tooth decay. Look for foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, and phosphorus to keep your smile happy, healthy, and ready for more!
We’re Experts When It Comes To Beautiful Smiles
If you want to learn more about how to keep your smile bright and healthy, we recommend visiting your dentist. Not only can they schedule you for regular dental cleanings, but they can help teach you how to care for your teeth if you enjoy foods that might be less than stellar for your smile.
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