Candy – It’s unsurprising that a lot of candy is not only bad for your health but especially bad for your teeth. In particular, sour candies contain different kinds of acids that can be tough on your teeth. Any kind of sticky candy gives sugar a chance to stay on your teeth and cause cavities.
Hard candies can also increase the chances of breaking or chipping a tooth. If you have a sweet tooth, consider having a toothbrush handy for after candy consumption. You can also try chewing some sugar-free gum to help with the sweet craving.
Carbonated Beverages – Soda or energy drinks are very acidic; which enables the plaque on your teeth to produce more acid and attack your tooth enamel. Studies have shown, that drinking excessive amounts of carbonated soda can have the same effect on your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
Caffeine can also cause dry mouth, which makes you more prone to cavities. Dark colored sodas can also stain and discolor your teeth. If you consume soft drinks, try to drink water along with it.
Ice – Many people think that chewing ice is good for your teeth. It doesn’t contain any sugar or additives, but chewing hard substances can increase the risk of damaging your teeth. If you chew ice you are at higher risk for dental emergencies like cracked, broken, or chipped teeth and it may also loosen crowns. If you enjoy chewing ice, maybe reconsider and only use ice to chill your beverages.
Citrus – Citrus foods/juices such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are delicious and full of vitamin C. If you consume them frequently, over time you are prone to more decay. The acidic content in citrus foods can erode your enamel. It can also be irritating to mouth sores or cause mouth sores when consuming large amounts. If you love to eat citrus foods and drinks, be sure to drink plenty of water along with them.
Alcohol – Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to dry mouth. Saliva aids in washing away food particles that otherwise stay on your teeth. Less saliva in your mouth can cause more cavities and even lead to gum disease. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, be sure to drink lots of water and use fluoride and dry mouth rinses.
Sticky Foods – Foods such as dried fruit may be a healthier snack, but they are still very sticky. These types of food get caught in the small spaces in your teeth and leave behind lots of sugar. If you enjoy eating dried fruit/ trail mix, be sure to brush and floss afterward or at least rinse with water.
Chips, Bread & Crackers – Crunchy chips/crackers and bread are full of starches that essentially break down to sugar and get stuck in your teeth. If you love carbs, try enjoying whole wheat varieties that are harder to break down and contain less added sugars. If you enjoy eating chips and bread, be sure to brush and floss and rid your teeth of the trapped food particles.
Sugary Drinks – Many non-carbonated drinks contain lots of sugar such as coffee, tea, and sports drinks. You may think that these are a healthy drink option and they can be, but the problem is when people like to add lots of sugar. Coffee and tea can also stain your teeth. If you love your coffee/tea, try to keep the add-ins to a minimum and drink lots of water along with it.
Sports drinks can benefit athletes that enjoy long, vigorous activities; Sugar is their top ingredient and is not necessary in most cases. When choosing a drink, be sure to check the label for sugar content or just drink water.