Ever wonder which foods do the most damage to your teeth? According to the American Dental Association, these are the top nine foods that damage your teeth. We also have some good alternatives if you are partial to some of these delightful yet damaging treats.
Hard Candy puts your teeth in constant exposure to sugar. They can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Looking for a better alternative? Try chewing sugarless gum.
Ice is made of water and doesn't contain any sugar or other additives, but chewing on hard substances can damage the enamel on your teeth. There's also a risk of chipping a tooth any time you chew on hard substances. Advice? Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form.
Frequent exposure to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So even though a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it's not always the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water!
Coffee and Tea
Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may stain your teeth. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try not to add a lot of sugar.
Sticky foods are your mouth's worst nightmare! When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are stick and can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.
Who doesn't love the nice, satisfying cruch of a potato chip? Unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that lead to plaque build-up.
When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel (the hard surface of your tooth). Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas, can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink alongside a cup of water.
Alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.
They sound healthy, don't they? But for many sports drinks and energy drinks, sugar is a top ingredient. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged vigorous physical activities, in most cases they are unnecessary. Before your next sip, check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar. Not sure? Drink water instead!