According to experts, the foods we choose to eat are one of the determining factors on our overall health. Diet not only affects our appearance but also eyesight, digestion, hair and cardiovascular system. Simply put, what we eat impact nearly every part of the human body.
And, teeth are not an exception in this context. They are affected both in a positive and negative way depending on our food choices.
While, brushing teeth twice a day, using dental floss and paying regular visits to a dentist are essential for healthy teeth; avoiding or at least limiting the consumption of certain foods, that can potentially cause your teeth harm, is another way to maintain dental health.
In this article, we are going to investigate the worst foods for your teeth. According to dentists; the below-given foods can take a toll on your teeth unless you reduce intake or avoid eating them.
You already know that some of the below-given foods are not healthy for your teeth. However, in this list, there are foods you would probably never consider harmful for your teeth.
Here are the 10 foods you may want to avoid to protect your teeth.
Citrus fruits – like oranges, lemon, limes, grapefruit- are demanded fruits, especially in winter season to boost the immune system thanks to their high vitamin C content.
However, these fruits contain a strong acid that can potentially harm your tooth enamel and may lead to tooth decay. As they are that acidic, many individuals with acid reflux are told by their doctors to either avoid or at least limit the consumption of these acidic foods.
Therefore, eat them in moderation and rinse your mouth with water after eating.
More importantly, wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating these acidic fruits. Because, according to experts; brushing teeth right after citrus fruit consumption can damage tooth enamel.
Alcohol can potentially damage every part of the human body, including teeth, according to WHO.
Expert note that drinking alcohol can destroy tooth enamel – the guardian of your teeth – due to its high sugar content as well as high acidity rate. Therefore, especially long term alcohol use can most likely result in tooth decay.
Additionally, alcohol affects the soft tissue in the mouth, thus, making the mouth vulnerable to gum disease.
3- Ice Chewing
This one might perplex you a bit. But, yes, chewing ice can indeed bring about some dental problems.
Even though ice doesn’t contain anything harmful for your teeth such as sugar or acid, it is nevertheless harmful to your teeth because ice is a cold and hard substance for teeth.
Dentists say; ice chewing can lead people to various dental problems, such as cracked and chipped teeth, damaged tooth enamel, to name but a few.
4- Sports Drink
You might be thinking that drinking your favourite sports drink, before or after an intense workout is an essential component of your exercise routine. However, the thing is your sports drink might have been harming your teeth.
According to Emerson Dental; sports drinks negatively impact teeth, as containing high sugar and being highly acidic.
While acid is breaking down tooth enamel, high sugar in sports drinks is feeding the bacteria in mouth thus setting off tooth decay.
As mentioned above, citrus fruits can potentially cause harm to your teeth due to their high acidity level. Pickles are another type of nutrition that contains a high amount of acid. Therefore, pickled foods, like citrus fruit, can bring about dental problems.
In addition to their high acid level, most pickles also contain a large amount of sugar. Therefore, you should be aware of the potential harms of pickle consumption on your teeth, if you are a regular pickle-eater.
Rinse your mouth with water after consuming pickles to minimise the risk of cavities.
6 – Soft Drinks
Many of us tend to think that soft drinks are harmful to teeth just because they contain a large amount of sugar. In fact, the main problem stems from their acid content, although sugar content is harmful too.
Since soft drinks contain both sugar ( many of the soft drinks ) and acid, they pave the way for dental problems like dental erosion or cavities.
Try to avoid them completely or at least limit the consumption to protect your teeth. If you drink, rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
7- Starchy Foods
Potato chips, pasta, white bread are only examples of foods you might enjoy eating.
What you should know about these starchy foods is that these foods can adhere to your teeth for an extended period of time. Because, when you chew starchy foods, they quickly turn into sugar.
Excessive consumption of starchy foods can lead you tooth decay in the long run. Use dental floss to remove the remains between teeth to minimise the risk of tooth decay.
8- Coffee and Tea
Coffee might be your favourite beverage, especially if you are doing a stressful job. It definitely increases concentration and makes you alert for some time.
On the other hand, you might be fond of drinking tea every day, like millions of people around the world.
However, we can say neither coffee nor tea is improving your dental health. Because these beverages are known to leave stains on teeth and cause teeth to get a slightly yellowish appearance.
If there is no way you can do without coffee or tea, then make sure you are drinking a glass of water after drinking them and brush your teeth before sleep. Furthermore, not adding sugar into your coffee and tea is another way to reduce the harmful effects of coffee on your teeth.
9- Dried Fruits
In general, dried fruits are considered healthy snacks, thanks to their high fibre and antioxidant content.
However, your teeth probably wouldn’t use the adjective ” healthy ” for dried fruits. Because dried fruits such as figs, raisins, dried apricots are high in sugar. But, apart from being sugary, as you probably know, dried fruits are also quite sticky. It can fill your teeth crevices and cause dental problems.
Therefore, make sure you are using dental floss the remove the remains and make also sure you are rinsing your mouth. In doing so, you can prevent potential harms of dried fruit on your teeth.
The last and also the worst. Even a child would know candies are harmful for teeth regardless of whether they are soft or hard candies.
Candies and chocolates are packed with sugar. But this is not the main problem. The main problem is they stick to teeth for a long period of time, thus welcoming tooth-decaying bacteria to the mouth.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.