There are some foods that pretty much everyone knows are bad for teeth–looking at you, candy–but there are others that should be avoided which you may not have considered. Here, we’ll discuss some surprisingly damaging foods for your teeth.
When we think of fruit, we think of a healthy snack. However, citrus fruits are not a friend to your teeth. This is because citrus fruits contain a lot of acid, which is one of your enamel’s biggest enemies. Acid wears away at tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth that acts as a protective barrier to the rest of your teeth. When the enamel wears away too much, the acid can reach the more sensitive parts of your teeth and cause tooth decay. Whether they’re lemons or limes, grapefruits or oranges, be sure to limit the amount of citrus you eat and always drink water alongside if you do decide to indulge.
You may not think of bread as something that could be bad for your teeth, but when you chew bread your saliva breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. This then creates a gummy consistency that sticks in between your teeth and if this is left behind the sugars attack your teeth to create tooth decay. The sugar from the bread can also be fed upon by bacteria to create acid that will wear away at your enamel. If you still want to keep bread in your diet, be sure to choose less refined breads such as whole grain because these often contain less sugar and can’t be broken down as easily as white bread.
Ice is just water, right? Wrong. While ice is made of water, because it is hard, it can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Chewing on anything hard can make your teeth susceptible to a dental emergency like a cracked or chipped tooth and can even damage enamel. If you are drinking something with ice, be sure to just use the ice as a cooling substance and not something that you snack on.
Dried fruits are something that you can find in many trail mixes and are generally considered a healthy snack option that’s high in fiber. However, dried fruits are incredibly high in sugar and very sticky. This combination is deadly for your teeth because when you chew on dried fruit its sticky consistency causes bits to cling to your teeth after you’re done snacking. Since dried fruit is high in sugar, the sugar will cling to your teeth, which can lead to high enamel erosion. Try to avoid dried fruits or at least drink water as you eat them and be sure to floss after you’re done.