The 5 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

The 5 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Your teeth come in contact with everything you eat and drink. That means that what you put in your mouth can have a big impact on your dental health. It's true that drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods helps protect your teeth, but staying away from harmful foods is important too. Skip these five foods if you want to avoid stains, weakened enamel and cavities.

1. Soda

You probably know that all the sugar in soda isn't good for your teeth, but it isn't the only thing in soft drinks that makes it a dental no-no. Soda also contains a variety of acids that can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. Even diet varieties have these acids, so don't think of them as a tooth-healthy alternative to regular soda.

Of course, soda isn't the only sugary drink that can wear away at your teeth. Watch out for sports drinks too. They may sound healthy, but many include the same sugars and acids that make soda so bad for your pearly whites.

2. Citrus Fruits

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes may be great for your overall health, but they're also highly acidic, meaning they can wear away at your enamel over time and may eventually weaken your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juices are particularly bad for your teeth because they contain more acid than orange juice.

3. Chewy Candy

All sugared candy is hard on your teeth, but chewy candy is particularly bad. These types of candies tend to stick on and between your teeth, where they attract bacteria and attack your enamel. Chewy candies can also pull out fillings.

4. Coffee

Have you ever noticed how coffee leaves a stain in a clean mug? It does the same to your teeth, and researchers have found that coffee stains are harder to get rid of than tobacco stains. The added sugar in popular flavored coffee drinks can make coffee even harder on your teeth.

5. Starchy Snacks

The refined carbohydrates found in starchy foods such as crackers and chips can get stuck between your teeth, where they attract bacteria. Some dentists also believe that these refined carbs contribute to inflammation in the body. That's bad news for folks who suffer from gum diseases such as gingivitis.

Remember that it's all about excess when it comes to what's bad for your teeth. These foods might take their toll if you eat them all the time, but occasional indulgences won't cause long-term harm to your teeth. So long as you avoid these five foods on a regular basis, you can enjoy that cup of coffee or chewy caramel from time to time without worry.