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    The Worst Foods For Your Teeth


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    Every person’s mouth is home to bacteria, and this is normal. However, certain types of bacteria can be harmful to your natural health. When you consume acidic, sugary, acidic, or starchy foods and drinks, your mouth’s bacteria break down the carbohydrates left in the food. The acids used to break down food also erode your teeth’s enamel. Harmful foods also lead to the accumulation of plaque, which later hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar accumulation can cause severe damage to your teeth and affect your overall health.

    Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth

    Consider composition and quality when determining whether a meal, drink, or snack is terrible for your teeth. Here are some foods that are bad for your teeth:

    Acidic Foods

    Frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode your enamel, making it thinner. Eroding enamel makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay. Some of the acidic foods that can damage your teeth include:

    Citrus Fruits

    Squeezing lime or lemon into a glass of water can turn it into a fun beverage. However, this is not always a good choice for your teeth. Citric fruits have a high acid content that can erode your teeth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. It is best to limit your intake of fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, and tangerines. You should also drink plain water instead of mixing it with fruit juices.


    Tomatoes are acidic, making the enamel weak and porous. If it is porous, bacteria can easily penetrate it and infect it.


    Pickles contain a lot of acid because they contain vinegar. Vinegar makes pickles tasty but also harms tooth enamel. It can cause tooth decay and increase the risk of enamel erosion. Therefore, you should avoid consuming vinegar-containing foods frequently.

    Refined Carbohydrates

    Starch-filled, refined carbohydrates are highly correlated with cavities and tooth decay because starch becomes sugar during digestion. This starch can be trapped between your teeth and cause plaque production. Refined carbohydrates include the following:


    Surprisingly, many people assume ice is suitable for their teeth. After all, ice does not contain added sugar or other additives; it is made of water. Chewing ice can cause broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, loosen crowns, and damage the enamel. You should break the ice-eating habit and drink water in its natural liquid form.

    Hard And Chewy Candies

    While many people consider candies harmless, eating them too much exposes your teeth to too much sugar, making them susceptible to tooth decay. Candies can also put you at risk of dental emergencies like chipped or broken teeth.

    Hard and gummy candies could stick to your teeth. Their texture encourages the buildup of plaque, which can enhance the likelihood of decay and damage. Lollipops, hard candies, jellybeans, caramels, and gummy worms fall into this category. A better alternative would be to go for sugarless gums that bear the American Dental Association seal.

    Pigmented Foods

    Highly pigmented foods like curry, beets, and berries can stain your teeth. Curry is a spice blended in most cuisines. It is famous for its rich flavors and vibrant color. Sadly, it is the vibrant color that causes tooth discoloration. Curry contains turmeric, a spice that has intense yellow pigments. When you eat food spiced with curry, the yellow pigments can stick to the enamel of your teeth. Your teeth could suffer significant staining, mainly when you frequently consume curry.

    Other foods contain acids and tannins that stain teeth. Acids can weaken enamel, making it prone to staining. Tannins are compounds that increase the potential of pigments to stick to a person’s teeth. The combination of curry, acids, and tannins allows curry’s intense color to leave a permanent mark on your smile.

    Beets can cause teeth staining because of their vibrant betalains, making beets one of the foods you should consume in moderation. Betalains are intensely pigmented molecules that could leave a mark on anything they touch, including the teeth. The natural chromogens in beets could stick to your enamel, significantly if any plaque or tiny imperfections have already compromised the enamel. The tooth enamel can absorb the colors because it is porous. This can happen if acidic foods soften the enamel.

    The more porous the enamel, the more stains it could hold onto. This could be compounded further, especially if your teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures could cause the teeth to expand and contract, making it easier for the stains to penetrate the enamel.

    Drinks That Contain Tannic Acid

    Drinks like black tea, coffee, and red wine contain tannic acid. These drinks could cause your teeth to stain and make them sticky. The saliva levels in your mouth could also be reduced because tannins tend to dry out a person’s mouth.

    Tea and coffee can also expose your teeth to high sugar content. In their natural form, tea and coffee are healthy beverages. However, many people add sugar to these drinks. Since coffee and tea contain caffeine, they can also dry your mouth. If you consume tea or coffee, you should also drink water to keep the negative impacts to a minimum.

    Breath Mints or Cough Drops

    A person needs fresh breath, but breath mints could compromise dental health. You could be soaking your teeth in sugar because most breath mints have a high sugar content and stay in your mouth for a long time.

    Cough drops prevent cough, but most contain sugar. Because cough drops stay in the mouth for a long time, the potential for dental damage is severe.

    Sugary Drinks

    Sugary drinks are harmful to your oral health because they cause tooth erosion and decay. Instead of consuming sugary drinks, you should drink water. Tap water is perfect because it contains fluoride at the recommended levels. In addition to being harmful to your teeth, most sugary drinks do not have nutritional value and are harmful to your overall well-being. Some of the sugary drinks you should avoid or consume in moderation include:


    Most fruit smoothies contain a high volume of added sugar. When you consume smoothies, this sugar gets to your teeth. The sugar then converts into acids that attack the protective enamel of your teeth. Sugar in your mouth makes a good environment for bacteria to grow. Bacterial plaque is the main cause of gingivitis, tooth decay, and many advanced gum diseases.


    An increased intake of lemonade could harm your teeth because it is sugary and acidic. Due to the high amounts of sugar, microorganisms can attach to your teeth when you consume lemonade.

    Sugar, acid, and bacteria can cause dental cavities. The acid in lemons can also penetrate the tooth enamel and destroy it. The acid could erode the enamel and reveal the inner layer of the tooth called dentin, causing teeth to appear yellow. Your teeth could look dirty, and you will no longer have your pearly whites. This can affect your standard of living and make you self-conscious.

    Consuming too much lemonade could also cause tooth sensitivity. Minerals are stripped from your teeth when you consume lemonade, causing your teeth to erode over time.

    Cocoa Drinks

    Cocoa drinks can cause teeth staining because of chromogens. Chromogens are pigments that stick to tooth enamel, causing tooth decay and weakening enamel, making it more susceptible to staining. However, cocoa still has lower concentrations of chromogens than potent staining agents like tannins in tea. Cocoa also has sugar that does not stain the teeth directly but can cause tooth decay. Decay can weaken the enamel, making it prone to staining by chromogens.

    Generally, the risk of staining from cocoa is relatively moderate and depends on factors like your overall dental hygiene and frequency of consumption.

    Fruit Juice

    When choosing fruit juice, it is important to consider the acidity and sugar levels. Some fruit juices can help strengthen and protect your teeth, while others can promote tooth decay. Citrus juices like grapefruit and orange juice can erode the enamel over time. Additionally, sweetened fruit juices like grape and apple juice have high sugar levels that can cause tooth decay.

    The sugar in fruit juices could react with the bacteria in the mouth, producing acid that wears the protective enamel. This could result in sensitivity, cavities, and gum disease. Fruit juices are particularly harmful to children whose teeth are still developing.

    Soda Water

    Carbonated beverages have high acid levels, and soft drinks are worse because they are carbonated and sugar-loaded. Carbonated drinks with high amounts of sugar can harm your teeth, given their high acid levels. Acid attacks can take 20 minutes, and they begin with every sip you take.

    Tonic Water

    Tonic water harms your teeth because it contains quinine, which adds more sugar to the bottled drink. This makes tonic water more harmful to your teeth than regular soda. However, unflavored mineral water has less carbonic acid and no sugar, making it safe for teeth.

    Flavored Coconut Water

    Disease-causing oral bacteria do well in acidic and sugary environments. Excessing these two elements in the diet often causes enamel decay and erosion. Acid alone can erode tooth enamel and destroy your teeth without the presence of pathogenic bacteria.

    A pH of 5.5 or lower can cause enamel erosion. Acidic beverages and foods will alter the pH of your mouth. Oral bacteria release acid as a by-product when they feed on sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Coconut water has natural sugars, even when you drink it straight from the coconut. Typically, natural coconut water has 25% sucrose, 35% fructose, and 40% glucose. The bacteria feed on these simple sugars, causing tooth decay.

    Alcoholic Beverages

    Alcohol can cause a dry mouth and increase the harmful effects of plaque because it decreases saliva production. Wine and beer are also very acidic and can cause your enamel to wear down. For example, red wine has tannins like coffee that could stain your teeth. With their acidic nature, the dark barley and malts in beer can enhance the likelihood of teeth staining. Some alcoholic drinks contain high levels of sugar, which feed the plaque-production cycle.

    Sports Drinks

    Most people believe that sports drinks are healthy. Sports drinks can harm your teeth because of their high acidity and sugar concentration. The high acid content in most sports drinks is sufficient to weaken your tooth’s enamel. They could make your enamel prone to bacteria and tooth decay. Softened or weakened tooth enamel could also lead to the following:

    Sticky Foods

    Most people prioritize dried fruits when choosing healthy snacks. However, many dried fruits are sticky, meaning that when you chew them, they adhere to your teeth. Since sticky foods remain on your teeth longer than other food types, they are more likely to damage your teeth. If you often consume sticky foods, rinse your mouth with plain water. You should also brush and floss your teeth immediately after consuming them.

    Crunchy Foods

    You should be cautious with any crunchy food. Most people love the sumptuous and crunchy potato chips. However, potato crisps contain a high content of starch, which can be trapped in the teeth. If you choose to indulge in potato crisps, you should ensure that you brush and floss to remove all the food particles trapped between your teeth.

    Find An Experienced Dentist Near Me

    You can reduce the negative effects of food-related plaque by limiting or avoiding foods that can damage your teeth. You should also ensure that you brush and floss your teeth regularly. In addition to adopting a healthy diet and good oral hygiene, visiting your dentist can keep your teeth healthy and prevent decay. At The Lakewood Dentist, we have experienced dentists who can help you maintain proper dental health. Take a step towards good oral health by contacting our dentists today. Contact us at 562-423-1441 to speak to one of our dentists.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!