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The Worst Foods for Your Teeth

No matter how delicious they are, some of your favourite snacks may be harming your teeth.

You already know the best foods for your teeth and gums, but it’s important to know which foods have a negative impact on your teeth and gums, too.

This doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life completely. But, you should consider enjoying them in moderation.

What foods are harmful to my teeth?

Sugary treats and candies

You’ve probably heard your parents or another adult say something like “all of that sugar will rot your teeth” when you were growing up.

This wasn’t some plot to get you to eat your vegetables.

It’s true.

Your mouth is home to over six billion bacteria, including 700 species. Some of that bacteria is important for maintaining excellent oral health. Others have more sinister intentions.

When the bacteria turns the sugar into acid, your risk of developing cavities increases. Since cavities often go unnoticed, it’s easy to let them get past the point of no return. When this happens, the cavity can burrow into your tooth’s layers. This is when you’re likely to experience pain, and possibly even tooth loss.

Acidic foods and drinks

This includes things like soft drinks (even the sugar-free variety), citrus fruits (like lemons, limes, and grapefruit), and pickles.

When you drink pop, the bacteria in your mouth can start producing acid right away and can start to cause significant damage to your enamel within 20 minutes, even if you brush and floss regularly. If you do have a glass of pop, don’t brush your teeth right after. The acid makes your tooth structure softer, making your teeth vulnerable to abrasion.

While pickles are arguably one of the best parts of any sandwich or burger, they come with risks. Because they’re soaked in vinegar during the pickling process, they’re high in acid.

If you’re constantly eating pickles, the juice can wear down your enamel and cause you to have sensitive teeth, and even cracks, chips, or discoloration.


Drinking too many glasses of your favourite pinot noir or chardonnay may leave you with more than a nasty headache the next morning.

Wine, both red and white, is high in acids that can weaken your enamel and even cause your teeth to look yellow. If you are going to enjoy a few glasses, consider drinking a glass of water after to neutralize the acid and wash away any lingering wine. Do not brush your teeth directly after consuming wine because that causes the acid to spread.

How can I enjoy my favourite foods but still protect my teeth?

There are two things you can do to make sure your teeth stay healthy while enjoying your favourite comfort foods and drinks.

The first is to limit the amount of sugary and highly acidic foods you consume. That isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy them in moderation, but be mindful of how they’re affecting your teeth.

The second thing you can do is maintain excellent oral hygiene. This includes regular cleanings and visits to the dentist to make sure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.

If you have any questions about what foods are bad for your teeth, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens. She and her team can help you find ways to enjoy your favourite things without sacrificing your oral health.

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