Dental Guides

The Worst Foods for Your Teeth and Gums

Taking care of your teeth and gums isn’t just about brushing and flossing. While these are very beneficial practices, a healthy mouth begins with a healthy diet. Some foods, by their very nature, are more destructive to teeth and gums than others. Cutting these foods out of your diet is not necessary, but be sure to rinse your mouth with water after consuming them, and always maintain a healthy dental hygiene regimen.

Staining Drinks
You love your coffee, your red wine, your soft drinks and other delicious beverages, but your teeth are not so fond of them. Drinks like these have the power to stain your teeth, and also tend to leave your teeth sticky. This causes plaque build-up which can turn your discoloration into a more serious problem. Remember this general rule; if it can stain your clothes, it will probably stain your teeth. Be wary of these staining drinks, and always be sure to flush them out quickly.

White Bread
While you may not have to worry about your teeth being stained white by the bread you eat, there are other things to be worried about. White bread and other heavily starchy foods allow tiny food particles to get trapped inside the nooks and crannies of your teeth. If you’re not careful about brushing and flossing regularly, those little food bits will cause bacteria and plaque to grow, damaging your teeth and gums over time.

You may not have expected to see this item on the list, but alcohol can actually be very bad for your teeth and gums. Consuming alcohol decreases the body’s production of saliva, your natural mouthwash, leading to excessive build-up of food matter and an all-around unclean mouth. Alcohol also irritates the delicate soft tissue inside the mouth which can lead to gum disease in extreme cases. Moderate consumption of alcohol is not too destructive when balanced with good dental care and hygiene, but everyone should be aware of the detrimental effects of alcohol on their teeth and gums.

Hard Candy
Sugary foods in general are not great for your teeth, but hard candies are especially destructive. These little sweets stay in your mouth for much longer than the average candy, increasing your exposure to the harmful effects of sugar on the teeth. Hard candies stick to the teeth and cause excessive plaque production, making them more harmful than the average treat.

Dried Fruit
Many dieters tout the benefits of dried fruit as a substitute snack for other more harmful sweets, and they are right in a way. In an age when healthy high protein snacks and desserts are on everyone’s mind, a nutritious snack is a great thing to have. However, dried fruit is not as innocent as it seems. The stick to the teeth and feed sugar to the bacteria in your mouth, leading to tooth and gum problems.

Many of the items on this list are not necessarily unhealthy on their own, when consumed in moderation and balanced with a healthy diet. However, when neglect overpowers dental hygiene, these foods become very destructive. Be sure to keep your mouth clean by rinsing after eating these dangerous foods, and always maintain a healthy dental regimen to keep your mouth shining.

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