Remember those foods you ate as a kid that your parents promised would rot your teeth by the time you turned twenty? Now, you know that this was not true, but you also don’t want to look like your great-grandma Betty who had to get dentures at the age of sixty because of her bad health habits.
Instead, you should take care of your teeth while you still have a chance. Let’s take a look at the five worst foods for your teeth. You may be surprised by what you find.
1. Colored Drinks
The range of colored drinks is far reaching. Your teeth can be stained and start to decay from any of the following colored drinks:
- Sports Drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.)
- Wine (Both White and Red)
- Darkly Pigmented Juices
Alcoholic drinks are among the worst drinks for the teeth, regardless of the type and quantity consumed.
Even though most gums won’t leave permanent stains on your teeth, they can definitely help speed up the process of decay, especially if they contain large amounts of sugar.
- Bubble Gum – Yes, your parents were right about that hot pink gum that you used to love as a child. It is horrible for you, not only do the sugars in that kind of gum absorb into your teeth and feed the bacteria, but they are also eventually swallowed.
- Sugar-Free Gum – This isn’t quite as bad for your teeth, but it sure isn’t doing you any favors like you are led to believe.
- Xylitol Gum – Trident, Xylitol, and Miradent are a few of the types of gum that you can chew that may actually be helpful. They are cavity fighters and produce saliva which helps protect the teeth’s enamel.
The acid found in fruits can be bad for your teeth. The most acidic foods are citrus, and unfortunately, citrus also contains sugars. Many people who suck on lemons or limes will develop a gloss on the teeth which will cause a slow eroding of enamel. Tomatoes, lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit are among the most acidic foods in an average diet.
4. Saltine Crackers
Surprise! If your mouth is open in shock, you aren’t the only one. You were either fed these as a kid, for a healthy snack solution, or you are doing this very thing right now with your own children. Well, unfortunately, according to dentists, eating saltines may actually be worse than chewing on candy.
They say this is because these snacks are highly processed foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients which will increase your chance of cavities. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there. These supposedly healthy alternatives also get soft and almost gummy when chewed, allowing these foods to get stuck between teeth and create even more bacteria and cavity opportunity.
I know you’ve been waiting for this one, so here is the ugly truth. I believe we’ve already established that sugar is bad for your teeth; however, just how bad is a whole different question all together. Candies that are high in sugar will have an effect similar to many of these products combined.
- Teeth Staining
- High Sugar Contents
- Residues Left Between Teeth
- Teeth Erosion
These are just some of the effects that candy can have on your health. Additionally, many types of both hard and soft candies can have other negative health effects, including being one of the causes of the rise in declining health conditions.
As a general rule, we should all be a little more cautious about what we put into our mouth. These are just a few of the many foods and drinks we should avoid, there are many more than can cause gum and tooth decay as well as gingivitis and even obesity or diabetes.
- License: Creative Commons image source
By Heidi Rothert
Heidi Rothert writes content for companies such as Stevenson’s a Pediatric Dentist, Riverton, UT and others in the health and wellness industry throughout the United States. You’ll also find her work in the plumbing, HVAC, and construction industries.