Having healthy teeth is important. You brush and floss every day, and you visit your dentist every year for an annual checkup. But all of your efforts to keep your teeth healthy may be for nothing if your diet isn’t in check. Certain foods are more damaging to your teeth than others, but some are really damaging. Let’s take a look at the top five worst foods for your teeth.
There’s a reason your mother told you not to eat so much candy as a kid – it’s terrible for your teeth.
Sugar is the main reason why candy is so bad for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth breaks down the sugar and turns it into acid. The acid then wears away the enamel of your teeth.
The chewier the candy is, the worse it is for your teeth. Caramels and taffy get stuck on and in between your teeth for a long time, creating a feast for bacteria.
To keep your teeth white and healthy, limit your candy consumption. Eat an apple instead. Apples naturally remove plaque and help keep your teeth white.
2. Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, can also damage your teeth. Carbohydrates are really just sugar. Your saliva contains enzymes that begin the digestion process in the mouth, which breaks down complex carbohydrates into sugar. That sugar is then consumed by the bacteria in your mouth to create acid.
Limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates to keep your teeth white and healthy.
You know that soda is bad for your health and high in calories, but it’s also bad for your teeth. Not only is it high in sugar, but it also contains citric acid and phosphoric acid. So not only are you feeding the bacteria in your mouth (which produces acid), but you’re also washing your teeth in acid each time you drink a glass of soda.
Sipping soda is worse than chugging it down because you’re constantly exposing your teeth to more acid. If you’re going to drink soda, drink it as quickly as possible to minimize its effects on your teeth.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are great for your help, and they may even help whiten your teeth naturally. But they’re also highly acidic. In fact, lemons have a pH of 2. If you have a habit of sucking on lemons or limes, you’re exposing the enamel of your teeth to a highly acidic substance. Over time, your teeth will start to yellow and become very sensitive.
Dentists recommend choosing citrus juices that are fortified with vitamin D and calcium to help offset the fruit’s damaging effects. We also recommend brushing and flossing shortly after exposing your teeth to these acidic foods.
5. Red Wine and Coffee
You love a good glass of wine every now and then, and you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee. But both of these drinks are damaging your teeth.
Red wine contains chromogens which produce pigments that stay on your teeth. Tannins in red wine also dry out your mouth, which worsens stains and makes your teeth sticky.
Coffee has similar effects on the teeth, coffee stains tend to be more difficult to remove than even tobacco stains. Teeth that are heavy in coffee stains also tend to be stickier and attract food particles, which leads to bacterial growth.
These five foods are some of the most damaging to your teeth, so consider limiting your consumption of them to keep your teeth healthy. Choose water instead of wine or coffee, and eat an apple instead of candy. Making simple, smart choices can help you avoid these bad foods and protect your teeth.