Six Foods That Are Terrible For Your Teeth
According to a 2016 study published in Advances in Nutrition, cavities affect an estimated 80% of the world’s population—and almost a quarter of adults in the United States have untreated cavities. A leading cause is poor diet quality and high sugar consumption, the study says. But cavities are just one of many oral health issues that can be caused or exacerbated by the foods you eat.
Daily diet plays a direct role in oral health, which is essential to overall health. Brushing your teeth, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly are all typically associated with maintaining a healthy smile—but there’s more to oral health. The important nutrients from a healthy diet strengthen the bone that supports your teeth and protects against tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. On the flip side, a diet that lacks nutritional value can have the opposite effects, causing staining, enamel erosion, and tooth decay.
To ensure you’re staying away from the top offenders and eating as many teeth-friendly foods as possible, below is a list of the worst foods for your teeth, according to dentists.
Like nuts, hard candy can wreak havoc on brittle teeth. Especially if you already have crowns or implants.
Research shows that sugary soft drinks make teeth more cavity-prone, and carbonated beverages in general cause erosive damage to enamel over time. Dark colas are also responsible for staining, per Byte’s report.
If you know, you know. The sinful satisfaction of ice crunching is something only some people understand—but no matter how alluring it is, it’s not worth the potential damage to your teeth. Ice cubes’ hardness can crack or chip a tooth or veneer. And it can also damage tooth enamel, making teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
We hate to break it to you, but your morning pick-me-up is likely causing staining. Along with soda, it ranks as a high staining offender—and it’s also acidic, making teeth more vulnerable to enamel wear.
Sour Gummy Candy
When it comes to staining, colorful gummy candy is one of the worst foods you can eat for your teeth. The gummy texture and sour coating only make matters worse, as it clings to teeth and brings a particularly punchy sugar into the mix. Sour candies also tend to be highly acidic and provide no nutritional value, which should be avoided.
When consumed in moderation, red wine is thought to have heart health benefits, per Mayo Clinic, but the nightcap doesn’t do much good for your teeth. It’s the third highest staining drink on Byte’s list, which shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’re a wine connoisseur. That nighttime post-drinking brush always takes some extra effort to remove the evidence.