The Surprising 12 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

peanut butter and jelly sandwich one of 12 worst foods for healthy teeth
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay – Wikimedialimages

Without even realizing it, what you put into your mouth could be hurting your teeth. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits can maintain teeth and gums. However, if you hope to keep them at their best, you should be aware of the 12 worst foods for your teeth.

We all know that sugary baked treats such as pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, sweet rolls, and quick breads are bad for for health reasons, weight gain and contribute to cavities. They can cling to the surface and crevices of our teeth, especially if we are unable to brush right away.

Sweet frozen treats like ice creams, sherbets, ice milk, popsicles, fudgesicles, Italian ice, frozen custards, and snow cones are delectable. Yet, they also can linger on our tooth enamel and cause problems that can become worse since we often tend to slowly savor each bit or long lick.

Crunchy, starchy snacks and breads are still other top offenders when it comes to the health of tooth enamel. Snacks like pretzels, crackers, corn chips, potato chips especially the thicker, ridged chips, and tortilla chips have a tendency to gather between the teeth. When left to sit there, the starches release sugar and mix with saliva to start damaging teeth, making them some of the worst foods for healthy teeth.

Many of us send children off to school with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or pack some crackers with that combo. Though as nutritious as peanut butter is, it also adheres to tooth enamel more than is good for your child. Besides trapping the starchy sugar like glue to the teeth from the bread and peanut butter, the cavity promoting problem is worse from all the extra sugar from the jelly. If your child has to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other nut butter and jelly sandwiches, make sure you pick a toothbrush and toothpaste in that lunch box as well. Otherwise, chances are a mouth full of cavities may be in your child’s future.

Acidic fruits and juices are other of the 12 worst foods for healthy teeth. The reason for this is due to all their citric acid that erodes tooth enamel. Acid fruits like citrus can also demineralize its structure if eaten regularly. The worst acidic foods are lemon, lime, cranberry juice, blue plums, grapes, pomegranates and grapefruits. Anyway, if  you take a statin drug for your cholesterol, you never should eat any grapefruit or grapefruit juice that can conflict with that prescription. Those citrus lovers, stick with oranges and mangoes that have the least. Apples and peaches have even less acidity so you may want to add them to your grocery shopping list.

Candy is another way to bath teeth with sugar in the mouth’s sea of saliva. All forms of candy are really bad, but the varieties such as hard candy and chewy ones like caramels and taffies are even worse. Think about how long hard candy takes to finally dissolve in your mouth. Caramels and taffy candy treats have the same lasting power and tend to hide their sticky sugars in the crevices of the teeth.

Alcohol isn’t the best thing for the health of your teeth. One of the worst alcoholic beverages is red wine that can stain teeth, but also make the mouth dryer if you like to indulge with one (for a woman) or two drinks (for a man) daily. Why a dry mouth is not something you want is because without enough of your salvia, plaque and bacteria develop and you’re on the road to tooth decay. Something you might want to try is drinking some water in between drinks if you plan on drinking liquor out. Another suggestion is order a liquor drink that you can enjoy with a straw to avoid direct contact with tooth enamel.

Speaking of drinks, carbonated sodas and even sparkling water can play real havoc with the health of your teeth. The reason for it is due to the carbonation process, which causes the drink to have more acid. This doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your favorite carbonated beverages, but try to drink them at meal time or when you have the opportunity to brush.

Energy drinks pose even more risk to healthy teeth. The basis for this problem is because of all the citric acid energy drinks that can corrode tooth enamel these beverages typically contain, which also labels them as one of the worst foods for healthy teeth.

Ice may not be thought of as a food, but some people like to chew it. Chewing it can cause your mouth a world of dental problems from possibly fracturing the tooth.

Coffee and teas are fine for  your teeth when consumed in moderation. The problem begins with adding the sugar, milk, cream or an artificial creamer to those drinks that can promote a tooth enamel breakdown. In fact, caffeinated varieties can be even more destructive. Their manufacturing techniques can causes a chemical change that could cause a higher acidic level in the mouth to dry it out. Therefore, you may want to stick with regular coffees and teas and try to do without the extras. If you can’t, rinse your mouth with water to help dilute it as well as brush.

Dried fruits are convenient and healthy snacking options. Yet, these dried fruits are chewy and sticky enough to wedge in between the teeth. Trail mixes and granola mixes can have added sugar and nuts that can make it remain on the teeth.

Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Although we don’t always have control of what we are born with, we can do more to keep teeth healthy. This post I shared with these 12 worst foods for healthy teeth can help.

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  1. Kirsten Lyon
    August 15, 2019 / 11:20 am

    Good to remember to keep teeth healthy!

  2. Debra Branigan
    August 16, 2019 / 5:10 am

    Of course, most of this is common sense, but it seems we always need reminders.

  3. tat2gurlzrock
    August 16, 2019 / 9:44 am

    This is a great list. I try to eat or drink some of these but in moderation and never drink energy drinks. Soda maybe 2 or 3 times a year.

  4. gloria patterson
    August 18, 2019 / 4:37 pm

    WOW I just never thought of some of these items as bad for teeth………….

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