Foods That are Secretly Ruining Your Teeth

There are certain foods that everyone knows are bad for your teeth, like sticky candy and sugary sodas. Other foods, though, are a little sneakier. In fact, you may be eating a healthy diet and still be damaging your teeth. Don’t worry, if your favorite foods are on this list, you don’t have to give them up forever. Just make sure that you’re aware of the damage they can do, eat them in moderation, and keep up with your oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

  • It might surprise you to learn that fresh fruit can damage your teeth. It’s a healthy choice for a snack, but some fruit is also high in enamel-eroding acid and cavity-causing sugar. Apples, citrus fruits, and strawberries all fall into this category, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them. Just make sure to rinse your mouth with water to help clean the sugars and acid from your teeth.
  • Dried fruit is worse than fresh fruit when it comes to oral health. They’re a great source of fiber, but they contain a lot of sugar and they’re sticky enough to cling to your teeth. All that sugar stuck to your teeth creates the perfect environment to welcome bacteria and cause cavities.
  • Popcorn is a nearly irresistible snack, but it’s not great for your teeth. First, it’s high in carbs, which turn into sugars and feed bacteria. Then, the kernels and other particles can get stuck in your teeth or lodged in your gums. Popcorn bits between the teeth help bacteria grow, and when you pull kernels from under your gums, they leave gaps where bacteria can invade. If you can’t resist snacking on popcorn, make sure to brush and floss afterwards.
  • What you drink can be just as damaging as the things you eat. Diet soda may seem like a good alternative to regular soda, but the acid in the soda can damage your enamel, and the artificial sweeteners promote the growth of bacteria. Fizzy waters with natural flavors are a better option because they don’t have sugar or sweeteners. Wine, coffee, and tea can all stain your teeth, and sports drinks tend to be loaded with sugar. Limit these beverages, and when you do drink them, make sure to follow up with a glass of water to rinse your teeth.
  • Watch how you eat nuts. When choosing a nut butter, pick one without added sugars. If you’re eating almonds, choose slivered almonds to reduce the risk of cracking your teeth.
  • Pickles can wear down your tooth enamel. Sweet pickles are especially bad for your teeth because of the added sugar, but even dill pickles have acid that’s very damaging. To cut the acidity, enjoy pickles in moderation and rinse your mouth with water after eating them. Eating cheese with your pickles can also help neutralize the acid.
  • Beware of bread. Bread may seem harmless enough, but when your saliva breaks down the starch in bread, it converts it to sugar. White bread is the worst, because it sticks to your teeth, so choose whole grain bread for your sandwiches.
  • Water is great for your teeth, unless it’s frozen. When you chew on ice, you can chip away your tooth enamel and even break your teeth. Instead of chewing on ice, reach for celery sticks or baby carrots for that satisfying crunch.

No matter what you eat, regular dental appointments are the key to keeping your teeth healthy. When it’s time for a check-up, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.