Worst Food for Your Teeth

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The worst food for your teeth is that, which causes buildup in your mouth. Food particles form plaque and cause bad breath, among other dental issues.

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Potato Chips

Potato chips are one of the worst foods because they’re full of starch, which tends to get trapped in people’s teeth, writes Seattle dentist Dr. Leiker. Yet, it’s hard for us to stay away from them. The dentist recommends flossing on days we indulge in such snacks to remove all particles that can lead to the buildup of plaque.

Sugar

Sweet treats can sneak into our diet easily – practically everything we consume daily contains at least some sugar. Then, the sugar gets stuck between our teeth. The bacteria in our mouths convert sugar to a tar-like substance called exopolysaccharide that covers our teeth. Other bacteria stick to them. Sugar is the main source of food for bacteria like S. mutans, which are very harmful to our gums and teeth.

People who consume a lot of sugar let unwanted bacteria dominate their oral cavities. Then, they find themselves in the dentist’s office far more often than they’d care to be.

Sticky Foods

These foods are an absolute nightmare for your teeth. A lot of people choose dried fruit as a healthy snack, and it is relatively healthy, but many dried fruits are sticky and do harm to teeth because they stay on them more than other foods. Always rinse with water after eating dried fruit.

If you have a sweet tooth, choose sweets that don’t stick on teeth. This excludes cough drops with sugar, caramels, and lollipops. A number of studies have shown that dark chocolate is better than most sugary treats.

Medicine and Alcohol

These aren’t foods, but they’re worth mentioning as one of the most tooth-damaging things you can consume. This is so because these substances make your mouth dry. If you must drink or take certain medication, get a fluoride rinse or gel to clean your teeth.

Wheat and Other Grain Foods

Generally, these are healthy foods – except for the teeth. Grains like barley and wheat contain gluten and phytic acid, both of which are very difficult to digest. They extract calcium and other minerals from your body as they pass through your digestive tract. With time, this leads to loss of minerals in your teeth and bones. There is enamel erosion. Grains bring about an acidic environment in your mouth, which fosters growth of bad bacteria.

Grains may be more damaging than we imagine. Their effects can be so strong that simply cutting them out of your diet could be one of the best things to do for your oral hygiene. A landmark study into the oral health of indigenous tribes found that people who ate almost no grains or none at all tended to have nearly perfect teeth.

Soft Drinks

Again, these aren’t foods, but they deserve special mention as top offenders. Carbonated drinks are particularly bad because they are the main source of added sugar among children and adolescents.