Eight Foods and Drinks That Are the Worst for Your Teeth

eight foods that are the worst for your teeth

Just like maintaining our overall health, we also need to be aware of our oral health. The food and beverages we put into our mouths can cause a lot more harm to your teeth and its enamel. Most people are unaware of the damages that some food and drinks will do to their teeth. Here is a guide to help you with your dental health:


candy will damage your teeth

Candy has already established the reputation of causing damages to teeth, but many individuals continuously eat candy without realizing how they affect your dental health.

  • Hard Candy: Sucking on hard candy allows the sugars to build up in the mouth and cover teeth with harmful acids. Even chewing on hard candy can cause a threat to your teeth by damaging enamel and potentially chipping or breaking your tooth.
  • Chewy Candy: This includes the gummy-like candy, as well as treats that have caramel inside. These candies typically get stuck between your teeth and allow for the sugars and acids to wreak havoc.
  • Sour Candy: Sour candy is made up of several types of acid, and in result creating one highly acidic treat. With these high levels of acid, your teeth will pay the price by taking damage to the enamel and making teeth more sensitive.

If you must satisfy a craving for candy, dark chocolate is the safest route. Dark chocolate can cause the lowest amount of harm to your teeth, but that still means your teeth will be affected by the sugars.


Excessive alcohol poses a threat to your dental health. An occasional cocktail or wine is not unreasonable. However, it is a good idea to drink some water following your drink.

The threat from distilled alcohol goes beyond the sugars in a sweet cocktail. All alcohol is known to cause a dry mouth. As saliva plays an active role in your dental health by washing away small pieces of food, battling infections, gum disease, and even tooth decay, a dry mouth can be a problem.

Red and white wine both can add to dental health issues. Red wine is known to discolor teeth over time, and white wine has a higher acid level than red.


Different fruits pose different threats to your teeth.

  • Citrus Fruits: Although considered healthy for their vitamins, citrus fruits will cause major damage to your teeth with their high levels of acid. The acidic nature of these fruits will cause your enamel to deteriorate, so be sure to eat in moderation.
  • Dried Fruits: Dried fruits typically contain high amounts of sugar due to their natural sugars and other ingredients. In addition to the high sugar content, they usually stick to the teeth, giving the sugar more time to wreak havoc.
  • Canned Fruits: Typically, most fruits already contain high amounts of natural sugar. However, in canned fruits, there are added sugars and acid to make them dangerous for your oral health.

Foods and Beverages with Deeper/Darker Colors

dark color beverages can stain teeth

Coffee is one of the top beverages that cause damage to your teeth by staining. It is best to try to minimize drinking coffee or try sipping through a straw to avoid direct contact with teeth. Dark beverages, like black tea and dark sodas, can also stain your teeth if regularly consumed over time.

Dark fruits and vegetables, otherwise considered healthy can darken your smile. Make sure to rinse or brush after eating foods like beets and blueberries.

Foods with Vinegar

Foods that have high amounts of vinegar include high amounts of acid, which is dangerous to teeth enamel. For example, many feel that munching on a dill pickle is a wise choice because it contains no hidden sugar. Vinegar, on the other hand, and the foods that contain it, have a high level of acid. So, that healthy pickle, or low calorie, low-fat vinaigrette may have a dark side.

Refined Flours and Starches

Refined flours and starches change to sugar after they are exposed to the first step in the digestion process by saliva in the mouth. What’s more, if the flour or starches are found in snack foods, they tend to be present in your mouth longer as you snack.


popcorn can get stuck in between teeth

Popcorn is a starchy food that also immediately begins changing to sugar when it meets the saliva in your mouth. What can cause an even greater threat is the unpopped kernels that hide in the bottom of the bowl. Almost everyone has bitten down on one of these and can recognize the legitimate threat to your teeth and possible fillings.

Tomato-Based Foods

Most people know that tomatoes and tomato-based foods have a high acid level. Many people do not take the time to consider how many tomato-based foods there are. There is the expected spaghetti sauce, but there are also salad dressings, tomato soup, salsa, ketchup, and more.

Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming any foods or beverages with a higher acid level is not always the wisest course of action. Your teeth are more porous and fragile immediately following exposure to the acidity. It is best to rinse with water and wait a while before brushing.

By limiting the riskier foods, and rinsing or brushing after you do consume them can go a long way in making sure your smiles stay as bright as possible. Of course, the best way to dental health is through regular and proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Absolute Dental has dentist offices in Reno and Las Vegas, NV. Schedule an appointment today if you have been experiencing teeth sensitivity and toothaches.

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About the Author

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Dr. Joan Landron

Currently serving the community at Absolute Dental since August 2008, Dr. Joan Landron graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997.

She further honed her skills with a general practice residency at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent specialized training at New York University’s Implant Program for General Practitioners. Specializing in services such as X-rays, examinations, cleanings, crowns, and more, Dr. Landron brings a comprehensive approach to general and cosmetic dentistry, including implants.

A proud member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Association, she cherishes her free time by spending moments with family, reading, and maintaining her health through exercise. Dr. Landron takes immense pride in being a part of the Absolute Dental team and is dedicated to her patients at the Absolute Dental – Nellis in Las Vegas, ensuring they receive the best care possible.

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