Foods that Damage Teeth – 11 to Avoid

Having glistening white teeth is an indication of your health while stained and discoloured teeth can actually alter one’s attractiveness to others. Should you be judged on the appearance of your teeth? Probably not, but the reality is people are indeed judging. These 11 foods that damage teeth can drastically impact your smile. Therefore, you should avoid or moderately consume them if you truly care about your teeth.

#1. Coffee and Tea

The majority of us enjoy beginning each day with a hot cup of coffee or tea. It provides us with that extra boost we need to be productive but did you know that it contains something called tannins – naturally occurring polyphenols found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves, and fruit skins?

Tannins contribute to the bitterness and acidity of coffee and tea which, in turn, damage and stain your teeth. So, go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee or tea but do so in moderation.

#2. Soy Sauce

Mmmmmmmm, soy sauce! A dark coloured, salty condiment often used in every day cooking but it is that dark colour that can stain your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth after eating foods containing soy sauce or better yet, use soy sauce sparingly.

#3. Red Wine

Is there anything better than a good meal and a glass of red wine? Maybe not, but just like coffee and tea, red wine contains tannins that can taint the whiteness of your teeth and even damage the enamel. On the bright side of things, red wine can prevent the build-up of cavities!

#4. White Wine

Ok, so most of us already knew that red wine could stain our teeth but white wine can be just as powerful in terms of affecting the appearance of our teeth.

Although white wine does not directly diminish the whiteness of your teeth, it does make the current discolourations more prominent. So if you are indulging in the foods or beverages that are staining your teeth, the white wine will make it more noticeable.

#5. Candy

There is no surprise to anyone that candy is one of the foods that damage teeth the most. The high sugar content and often stickiness of our favourite candies clings to our teeth, causing dreaded cavities.

The sweet treats tend to sit on our teeth much longer than other foods which promote bacteria to build up, thus contributing to rotting and discolouration. If you have a bit of a candy addiction, try some of these tips to wean yourself off the sugar.

#6. Blackberries

Dark coloured fruits like blackberries and cherries are extremely healthy for our bodies as they contain a tremendous amount of vitamins and antioxidants. However, it is also those beneficial vitamins and antioxidants that leave our teeth tinged with undesirable colours. Brush your teeth immediately after consuming such fruits.

This way, you are reaping the health benefits of the berries but also preventing further harm to your pearly whites!

#7. Sugary drinks

Again, we are all aware of the high sugar content of soda and the inevitable damage that it can do to our teeth. However, keep in mind that other beverages you may be consuming can be just as harmful.

Energy drinks and that freshly squeezed glass of orange juice you had this morning contain overwhelming amounts of sugar and often acidity that contribute to the declining health in your mouth. A glass of juice can contain as much sugar as a can of a carbonated beverage which by the way, affects more than just your teeth. Not only is it bad for the teeth, there are also several health benefits of quitting sugar.

#8. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and even tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are fruits!) contain essential vitamins and minerals for our overall good health.

Should you avoid them? Of course not, as the health benefits are incredible. However, keep in mind that these delicious fruits in the citrus family are also very high on the acidity scale which is why they are mentioned as foods that damage teeth, Acid erodes the enamel on your teeth, exposing the tooth’s dentin underneath, leading to further dental issues which can affect the appearance of your teeth.

#9. Pickles

Pickles are essentially cucumbers so they should be perfectly fine to eat – right? Not quite, as they are made in a brine composed of salt and a high volume of vinegar. Vinegar is extremely acidic – if it can remove the grease off the top of your stove, think about what it can do to your teeth!

#10. Flavored Potato Chips

Potato chips. Oh, that crunch! The salt! The variety of flavours! They are definitely my snack of choice. I have always known they are not nutritious whatsoever but they are also one of the foods that damage teeth.

The flavourings added to your favourite salty snack are often acidic which, as already been stated, terribly damaging to our teeth. Also, the fact that it tends to stay on our teeth longer contributes to its harmful effects.

Instead of potato chips, reach for hot air popcorn (not the microwave variety as that also contains flavourings and sodium that are harmful) or perhaps nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts).

#11. Cough Drops

Cough drops are often used to treat a sore throat or nagging cough. Many of us think of them as “medicine”, right? However, they are equivalent too sucking on candies all day. (My mama always referred to them as “cough candies”. Light bulb moment!).

They contain a fair amount of sugar and can often be sticky, creating dental issues. Also, many of us tend to consume cough drops in the night to alleviate our cold symptoms. This is even more troublesome as we often fall asleep while it is in our mouth. As a result, the cough drop is sitting on our teeth for even a longer period, slowly eroding our teeth and potentially causing cavities.

Final Thoughts…

Protecting your teeth means having to carefully consider which foods you put in your mouth. There is no need to completely avoid these foods that damage teeth. However, consume them in moderation and be sure to be brushing your teeth in a timely manner.

This list only contains a handful of detrimental foods and of course, there are many more. However, as a general rule, if it can stain your clothing, it will very likely also stain your teeth.

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