Surprising foods that can damage your teeth

When we think of Worst Foods lists, we generally think of how various foods and beverages affect our waistlines, not our gum lines. But when it comes to our teeth, you may be surprised about the snacks and drinks that dentists would prefer we avoid.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva washes away food particles and helps prevent them from sticking to your teeth. Another reason to drink plenty of water alongside your cocktails.

Bread

When we chew bread, our saliva breaks down the simple carbohydrates in the white flour into sugar. Bacteria feeds on these sugars and produces acids that causes tooth decay. The soft, gummy bread residue sticks in the crevices of your teeth, which leads to cavities. Less-refined breads, like whole wheat have less added sugars that aren’t as easily broken down.

Breath Mints

While your teeth might feel cleaner after you pop a mint, you are soaking your teeth in sugar. Choose sugar-free, and look for mints sweetened with xylitol, which appears to combat bacteria associated with tooth decay.

You may be surprised about the snacks and drinks that dentists would prefer we avoid.

Carbonated Drinks

Drinking large quantities of carbonated soda can be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine, according to a 2013 study. Carbonated sodas prompt plaque to produce more acid that erodes the tooth enamel, (so if you sip soda all day, you are bathing your teeth in acid), plus it dries your mouth, so less saliva to do its thing. And dark colas can stain your teeth. Believe it or not, you should NOT brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda, as it could accelerate decay. If you drink a cola, drink some water right after.

Citrus

Yes, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are bursting with Vitamin C, which has many benefits to your health, but the high amounts of acid can erode enamel if it sits on your teeth. To gain the value of antioxidants and vitamins, eat citrus in moderation at mealtime and rinse with water or brush as soon as possible.

Cough Drops

Because we suck on cough drops until they dissolve, our teeth are exposed to the sugars and acids longer than foodstuff we chew and swallow.

Ice

Who loves chewing ice! And doesn’t it seem reasonable that chewing on ice would even sharpen your chompers? Wrong! According to the American Dental Association, you should never chew ice. It can damage your enamel, crack or chip your teeth or loosen crowns.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

When you add bread, peanut butter, and jelly, you have three ingredients that are 1) high in sugar and 2) super sticky that are nice little traps for bacteria to adhere to teeth.

Popcorn

Yep, here’s another one that we usually don’t think about. Popcorn can get wedged between teeth and further bacterial growth. And unpopped kernels are one of the top contributors to cracked teeth.

Now that we’ve ruined almost all your favorite snack foods, just remember to always eat in moderation, drink a lot of water, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and see your dentist at least twice a year.

Contact us to set up an appointment today.

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips