What Foods and Beverages Are Damaging to Teeth?
If you’re trying to keep your teeth in good shape, you have to protect them from damage. There are certain foods and drinks that can cause unnecessary damage to your teeth and gums. It’s a good idea to avoid these foods and drinks whenever possible.
Foods That Can Damage Teeth
- Sour candy. Sour candy contains a combination of acids, which can damage your teeth. Chewy candy can also stick to your teeth and cause decay.
- Citrus. Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, contain acid. The acid can erode the enamel on your teeth. This can speed up tooth decay, even if you consume citrus fruits in small portions.
- Potato chips. The starch in potato chips can get stuck between your teeth when you eat them. This then feeds the bacteria in the plaque.
- Dried fruits. Similar to sour candy, dried fruit can get stuck in your teeth. When this happens, you have sugar left over, which can cause decay.
Beverages That Can Damage Teeth
- Alcohol. When you drink alcohol, you are drying out your mouth. Without saliva, it’s difficult to prevent food from sticking to your teeth. Saliva also helps with gum disease and tooth decay.
- Soda. The acid in soda can coat your teeth, which breaks down tooth enamel. Dark-colored sodas can cause permanent stains as well.
- Ice. If you chew ice, you may be at risk of damaging your teeth. This can cause damaged enamel, chipped teeth, and loosened crowns. Ice is fine in drinks, but it should only be used to keep drinks cold.
While you don’t have to avoid these foods and drinks entirely, it’s a good idea to consume them in moderation. You should also practice good dental hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily and visiting a dentist biannually.
After consuming these foods, it’s smart to drink a glass of water and brush and floss your teeth. You should not brush your teeth right after drinking soda, though, as that can speed up decay.
If you have questions about ways to prevent tooth and gum damage, talk to your dentist.