Good oral care is about more than just brushing your teeth. It’s also about avoiding foods that will wear down your teeth and lead to serious complications. Here are the top offenders when it comes to damaging a healthy set of teeth:
Stay Away from These Candies
Candies like caramel and taffy are extremely sticky and adhere to your teeth for extended periods of time. This means that the bacteria on your teeth are supplied with a constant source of sugar, which can allow them to damage your dental health.
Hard candies aren’t quite as bad as sticky candies, but they take a long time to dissolve, which also gives bacteria a long time to generate harmful acids that eat away at your teeth. Chewing them quickly won’t help either. Hard candies can actually chip your teeth and cause permanent damage. So can chewing on ice.
Sour candies can also wreak havoc on your smile. They contain harsh acids which actually eat away at tooth enamel, especially if you brush your teeth shortly after eating them. But the worst candies are sour, sugary and chewy, like sour gummy worms and other products.
Candy Isn’t the Only Source of Sugar
Dried fruits may seem like a healthy snack, but they often have a similar effect as a piece of sticky or chewy candy. They can become easily lodged in teeth for hours, and their high sugar content can cause serious problems.
You can even get sugar stuck to your teeth from unlikely sources, like crackers. Crackers like saltines don’t taste sugary in the least, but they contain refined carbohydrates that are quickly converted to sugar in your mouth. When they become lodged between your teeth, they can provide an ample source of food for the bacteria that produces cavities.
Acidic Foods Can be Even Worse than Sugary Foods
Sugar isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. In fact, even though soda has plenty of harmful sugars, it’s actually the acid content that will really take its toll on your smile. Acid wears away at your enamel, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to staining, bacteria and cavities.
Juices from citrus fruits wear enamel down, especially juices from grapefruits and lemons. The fruit family isn’t the sole guilty party though. People who eat one pickle every day increase their odds of tooth and enamel damage by 85%.
Many of these foods can be consumed in moderation, but if you’re prone to poor oral health, it might be best to cut them out altogether.