Everything we eat and drink passes through our mouths. That means that your teeth are constantly under attack from things that can harm them - things like sugar, acid, staining liquids, and more. There are many common things we all eat and drink that are bad for our teeth, and some of them are more obvious - and damaging- than others. If you want to maintain a happy and healthy smile, you’ll need to limit your use of the things that are especially bad for them. In no particular order, here are the top 7 things to avoid if you love your teeth.

 Sodas

We’ll start with one of the most commonly known tooth-attackers. Sodas are a double threat to your teeth because they’re full of both sugar and harmful acids. Even diet sodas contain high levels of phosphoric and citric acids that cause damage to your enamel. It’s especially damaging if you sip them throughout the day because it never gives your mouth a chance to reset.

 It’s best to stay away from sodas entirely. If you can’t ditch the pop, drink it through a straw or with a meal to minimize the effect on your teeth. 

 Candy

Here’s another reason to skip the candy aisle - it’s terrible for your teeth. Candy is full of sugar which breaks down tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Chewy candies are especially bad because it’s sticky and lingers on and between your teeth long after you’ve finished chewing them. But hard candies dissolve slowly, giving your mouth more time to produce harmful acid. They can also chip, break, or crack your teeth if you bite down on them. Ouch! 

 When your sweet tooth strikes, try a bar of chocolate instead. They’re easily chewed and wash away easily. 

 Ice

 Ice is just frozen water, so it must be healthy, right? When it comes to your teeth, not exactly. While ice doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, chomping on those frozen blocks can cause your teeth to break, chip, or crack. It can also damage your enamel, which we know leads to cavities and tooth sensitivity. 

 There’s no way to make chewing ice less risky. If you can’t avoid it, we suggest leaving it out of your drinks. 

 Starchy Foods

Foods like potato chips, pasta, and bread are high in starch, which is converted into sugar quickly. Starchy foods are also soft and sticky and can form a stubborn goop that gets stuck between your teeth. The combination of the two means that your teeth are coated in sugar for longer, which means more damage.

 Avoid snacking on crackers, bread, or chips throughout the day, and be sure to brush your teeth after eating starchy foods. 

 Coffee

 Do you know that brown ring your coffee cup leaves on the table? That’s being left on your teeth, too. That means that much-needed cup of morning joe is turning your pearly whites into dull browns. Coffee also dries out your mouth, preventing your saliva from doing its job. And, many people add sweeteners to their coffee, which are almost entirely sugar. The point is, coffee is no friend to a healthy, white smile.

If you can’t miss your morning fix, try limiting yourself to one cup and be sure to rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done. 

 Citrus Fruits

 We all know fruit as a healthy food choice. It’s a smart snack for your waistline, but it’s bad for your teeth. Citrus fruits - things like grapefruit, lemons and limes - are highly acidic and cause your enamel to erode over time. Even adding lemon to a glass of water can wreak havoc on your teeth! 

 Choose fruits that are lower in acids such as oranges or watermelon. If you must have citrus juice, try drinking it with a meal to help neutralize the acid. 

 Dried Fruit

 You may think that dried fruit is a healthy snack, but it’s a terrible choice for your teeth. Dried fruits contain much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and they have none of the water that makes natural fruits so healthy. Dried fruits are also sticky, so they get stuck in and around your teeth. This makes it harder to get your teeth clean and is a perfect recipe for tooth decay.

 Ditch the dried fruit and stick with nature’s best - but try to choose fruits that are low in citric acid. 

Before you think you can never enjoy a cup of coffee or grapefruit breakfast again, take heart! As in all things, moderation is key. Brushing and flossing after eating is the best way to protect your teeth from harmful damage. That being said, don’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after eating or drinking something high in acid - this can actually make the damage worse. And remember to schedule regular appointments with your dentist. 

 Failing to care for your teeth can lead to decay, tooth loss and gum disease. If that’s happened to you, contact us for a consultation! From dental implants to gum disease treatments, we can help correct the damage and fix your dental problems to give you back a winning smile.