The Worst Foods for Your Teeth
According to Men’s Health Magazine, the average American eats 140 pounds of sugar in a year. 140 pounds! We all know that much sugar isn’t healthy for our bodies, and it certainly isn’t good for our teeth either. But sugar isn’t the only thing you have to watch when it comes to oral health. Read on to learn about some of the worst foods (and drinks) for your teeth.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Soda is LOADED with sugar! But sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup) is not the only ingredient in soda that is bad for your teeth. Soda contains corrosive acids such as phosphoric, citric, and carbonic acid, all of which erode tooth enamel. The high acid content in soda destroys your teeth, regardless of whether you drink regular or diet, but the most damaging of all is clear, citrus-flavored soda. Even worse, if you periodically sip your soda over the course of a day, you are constantly exposing your teeth to these harmful acids. Another thing to keep in mind is that dark soft drinks, like cola, can leave yellowish stains on your teeth.
Sports drinks also contain high levels of strong acids. Unless you are a serious athlete, your teeth will thank you for sticking with water!
High sugar content makes candy a tooth-decay magnet, but sour candies, such as Sour Patch Kids or SweeTarts, are especially bad. Tart candies get their tangy taste from special acids, and these acids dissolve tooth enamel. Also bad for your teeth: sticky candy that stays lodged in your teeth, and hard candy that stays in your mouth for a long period of time.
Fruit is one of the healthiest things you can eat, but certain types are hard on your teeth. Citrus fruits, in particular, contain high levels of enamel-damaging acids. Lemons and limes are especially acidic. Berries contain acids that wear down tooth enamel as well. Frequent fruit juice consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of enamel erosion.
Consuming vinegar on a regular basis wears away tooth enamel. Vinegar is common in sauces, potato chips, pickles, and salad dressings. Too much vinegar in your diet can give your teeth a yellowish look and make them more sensitive to heat and cold.
By cutting back on these enamel-destroying foods and drinks, and by continuing to brush and floss twice daily, your teeth will stay healthy and your smile will dazzle for years to come.