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The foods that cause tooth decay aren’t limited to sugars and sweets. Knowing other foods that cause tooth decay can help you make better choices for your oral and overall health.

All Day Tooth Decay | Why Your Favorite Snacks Are Ruining Your Smile

Everything we eat and drink affects our body and smile. Snacks are fun for our taste buds, but many aren’t good for oral health. That’s because they can cause tooth decay. The list of the worst food for your teeth includes more than just sugary snacks. Knowing foods that cause tooth decay can help you make better choices for your oral and overall health.

PLAQUE & TOOTH DECAY

Plaque is a soft and sticky film full of bacteria that builds up on teeth. The bacteria eat the sugars in the foods we eat and produces acids that ruin tooth enamel, which can lead  to a cavity. If left untreated, the bacteria can also cause gum disease.

FOODS THAT CAUSE TOOTH DECAY

Enjoy these foods and snacks in moderation to lower the risk of tooth decay:

SODA, ENERGY DRINKS, & SWEETENED COFFEE

Drinking sugar is just as bad as eating it, if not worse. When drinking a soda, many of us drink it one sip at a time – especially when at work. This is like giving your teeth a sugar bath every time you sip for hours.

That goes for sweetened coffee drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks too. Bacteria love sugar, no matter the source, and they create the acids that cause tooth decay. If you’re drinking sweets like these, don’t prolong drinking it, and be sure to rinse with water afterward.

Better yet, drink water instead. It’s better for your whole body.

STARCHY FOODS & SNACKS

Foods like bread, chips, pasta and even crackers can be as harmful to our teeth as candy. Starches can linger in the mouth and breakdown into simple sugars for bacteria to feed on. Pay close attention while flossing and make sure you remove all debris stuck in between the teeth to avoid plaque buildup.

CITRUS FRUITS & JUICES

Frequent exposure to acidic foods can ruin tooth enamel. This makes the teeth prone to decay over time. Damaged tooth enamel leads to tooth sensitivity, too.

Make sure to drink plenty of water after enjoying an orange, grapefruit, or another citrus. This will rinse away the acids left behind. But don’t brush right away after eating or drinking something acidic. Doing so just rubs the acid against your enamel, so wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing.  

DRIED FRUITS & STICKY SNACKS

Many people like to eat dried fruits as a healthy snack. If you do, keep in mind they can get stuck on and between your teeth, which creates plaque that causes tooth decay. The same advice applies to caramels, jelly beans, lollipops, and hard candy. Always rinse with water and brush after eating them.

You don’t have to vow to never eat these things, but eat foods that cause tooth decay only in moderation. As always, brush twice a day for two minutes. Follow this with flossing and keep you and your smile healthy. 

Looking for tips to work around sugary treats?