10 Foods Destroying Your Teeth & 10 That Keep Them Strong

10 Foods Destroying Your Teeth & 10 That Keep Them Strong

We all want to keep our pearly whites intact—even if that does require flossing—but certain foods dampen your smile. To ensure your teeth maintain their strength and health, let’s look at the worst (and best) foods for our chompers.

1. White Bread

It seems like every healthcare professional warns us away from white bread. Whether you heed their warnings or not is up to you, but you may want to listen to your dentist on this one. White bread is loaded with sugar and as you chew, you break the bread down into a kind of paste that can easily stick to your gums and cause cavities. 

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2. Soda

Speaking of loaded with sugar, carbonated soda does a doozy on your teeth, too. Not only is it packed with sugar, but it’s acidic as well, and together that team wears on your enamel and makes you more susceptible to cavities and plaque. 

Leighann-Blackwood-40Iptrhmnhw-UnsplashPhoto by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

3. Potato Chips

Even if our teeth were at risk of falling out, it’s hard to say we’d give up chips. While you don’t have to quit them cold turkey, you should be aware of how detrimental they are to teeth. Starchy foods wage war on your gums by feeding on bacteria in the mouth, which causes decay and plaque.

Sean-Mcclintock-4Jy0X81Wthg-UnsplashPhoto by Sean McClintock on Unsplash

4. Candies

Hard candy isn’t the only issue—sticky candy is also a culprit in poor teeth health as both linger on the teeth. They’re packed with sugar, which leads to cavities, but hard candies stick around on the teeth for extended periods of time (not to mention chewing one can easily hurt a tooth). Sticky candy, on the other hand, can get stuck between your teeth. 

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5. Citrus Fruits

Certain fruit actually aids in the promotion of teeth health, but citrus fruits don’t have that benefit. Fruits like oranges, lemon, or grapefruit pack a sugary punch and can seriously impact tooth enamel. They’re also not the best choice for those with sensitive teeth.

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6. Ice

Chewing ice is probably one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. It isn’t just that the texture can damage teeth, it’s that the temperature wears heavily on enamel and weakens it over time.

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7. Red Wine

Alcohol in general isn’t the best for your teeth, but red wine in particular is a no-no. Red wine can leave a slight stain on your teeth and it’s also fairly acidic, which does a number on your enamel. Regular consumption can wear on your teeth to the point of serious sensitivity. 

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8. Crackers

Crackers suffer from the same fate as potato chips: they’re very starchy. They can get lodged in your teeth and wear down the enamel, opening the door to cavities and tooth sensitivity.

Romina-Bm-Dnhnw-3I04I-UnsplashPhoto by Romina BM on Unsplash

9. Energy Drinks

It’s no secret that sports drinks are high in sugar and acidity, but you may not be aware of how tough those are on your teeth. Sugar coupled with acidity can harm enamel and leave you open to decay with frequent consumption.

Jesper-Brouwers-B2Cs6Kw5Vnm-UnsplashPhoto by Jesper Brouwers on Unsplash

10. Pickles

Nothing brings a burger together like a pickle, but they’re also acidic and can come with added sugar. That pairing attacks tooth enamel, leaves you vulnerable to cavities, and leads to plaque build-up. 

Suckerpunch-Gourmet-Fl06Ah9Eq0W-UnsplashPhoto by SuckerPunch Gourmet on Unsplash

Now let’s take a look at which foods promote healthy teeth!


1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach and kale do wonders for your teeth. Packed with calcium, minerals, and vitamins, leafy veggies maintain strong bones—including your teeth. Not to mention, chewing on these regularly can help keep teeth clean naturally!

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2. Certain Dairy Products

Make room for cheese, yogurt, and milk because the high calcium and phosphorus content keeps those pearly whites sparkling. They promote strong teeth, reduce the risk of cavities, and milk especially forms a protective layer over the teeth that keeps decay away.

Andra-C-Taylor-Jr- L5Mgd0W1Fq-UnsplashPhoto by Andra C Taylor Jr on Unsplash

3. Fatty Fish

Seafood lovers are in luck because fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich in vitamins and calcium that protect teeth. Fish is specifically full of vitamin D, which fights off tooth decay and helps get the calcium from your food.

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4. Apples

Have you ever noticed that your mouth produces more saliva when you chomp on apples? That’s because they have lots of water, and coupled with their beloved fibrous crunch, apples help you produce more saliva to help clear out food bits and bacteria from your teeth.

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5. Almonds

Almonds are a little trickier because, on the one hand, they have enough calcium to promote healthy teeth and aid in plaque removal when you chew on them. However, because they’re so hard, it’s recommended that you reach for almond slices if you’ve had dental work done (or have sensitive teeth) and avoid the candied stuff.

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6. Crunchy Vegetables

That’s right—more vegetables! The extra crunchy guys like celery or carrots work wonders on your teeth by producing more saliva (which fights bacteria) and helps to remove plaque thanks to their texture.

Bovia-Co-Photography-Xydx2 Wdiuq-UnsplashPhoto by Bovia & Co. Photography on Unsplash


7. Water

We’ve all dislodged food with a bit of water, but that’s not its only benefit. Water also promotes oral health by washing out bacteria, and its zero-calorie, sugar-free nature protects our teeth rather than hurts them.

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8. Lean Meats

Lean meats like chicken and turkey are not only loaded with protein, which is great for gums, but they also have lots of phosphorus. Phosphorus is pretty important because it maintains the strength of our teeth and can even help repair enamel over time.

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9. Strawberries

Strawberries have something called malic acid, which acts as a natural whitener. While they obviously don’t replace regular dental care, strawberries do work to lift surface stains from the teeth. They’re also rich in vitamin C, a crucial vitamin for gum health and collagen production.

Husain-Akram-Idq81Z9Wukc-UnsplashPhoto by Husain Akram on Unsplash

10. Green Tea

Green tea is often a go-to remedy—and you can now add oral health to that list. It’s filled with antioxidants that ward off bacteria and regular consumption can reduce the risk of cavities and damaged gums.

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