Worst Food And Drink For Your Teeth

Worst Food And Drink For Your Teeth

Everyone knows that sugar is terrible for your teeth, but acidic foods can cause just as many problems. This is because the acid in food and drinks, such as orange juice, temporarily softens the enamel (the outside layer of your teeth).

After you eat, it can take half an hour for the acids in your mouth to neutralize and the enamel to go back to normal. So if you constantly eat throughout the day, your mouth never has a chance to recover, and you will be more susceptible to acid wear and tooth decay. Some foods and drinks are worse for your teeth than others as they have a low pH, meaning they are very acidic.

Sugary Beverages: Tooth Enemy #1

Sugary drinks are among the worst food and drink you can consume regarding your teeth. From soda to energy drinks, these sugary beverages can cause various issues for your oral health. The sugar in these drinks provides food for bacteria, leading to enamel erosion and cavities; if consumed regularly, the damage can be long-lasting and serious. Not only do sugary beverages contain high levels of sugar that feed bacteria, but they also often contain phosphoric acid or citric acid, weakening tooth enamel even further.

In addition to adding fuel to the fire for oral hygiene problems caused by sugar, acidic components in sugary beverages can lead directly to dental decay. Acids soften tooth enamel, allowing sugars and other bacterial food sources greater access into teeth; this increases both risks of plaque build-up and susceptibility to cavities.

Carbonated Sodas: A Double Whammy for Your Teeth

It’s no secret that sugary drinks, like carbonated sodas, can be a double whammy for your teeth. Not only are they full of sugar and acids that can erode tooth enamel, but the carbonation itself can cause additional harm. This makes carbonated sodas one of the worst foods and drinks for your teeth.

The sugar in soda is readily available to bacteria in our mouths, which creates acid as a byproduct of their metabolic process. The acid then attacks our teeth and begins to break down the enamel layer of protection on our teeth, leading to cavities and other oral health issues. The gas bubbles within soda also cause further damage by increasing mouth acidity levels even more than regular sugary beverages.

Sticky Snacks: The Long-Term Damage

Snacking throughout the day has become a regular occurrence for many of us. But did you know that some of your favorite snacks could be damaging your teeth in the long run? Sticky snacks are a primary culprit for the worst food and drink for your teeth. These snacks can stick to the surface of enamel and cause long-term damage to our pearly whites.

Sticky foods such as candy, cookies, and crackers contain starches or sugars, which can break down into acids once consumed. These acids attack the enamel surface of our teeth, making them more vulnerable to bacteria and decay. Additionally, sticky snacks tend to get stuck between our teeth, which increases their risk for decay due to lack of brushing or flossing afterward.

Hard Candy: It’s Not Just Sweet

Hard candy isn’t just sweet–it can be hard on your teeth too. It’s one of the worst food and drink options for tooth health, and it should be avoided as much as possible. Eating hard candy can cause significant damage to the enamel of your teeth, which is the protective surface layer that keeps them strong and healthy. Not only is the sugar content in hard candy a significant contributor to tooth decay, but its sticky nature means it stays in contact with your teeth for an extended period, increasing the odds of cavity formation.

The acidity level in some types of hard candy also increases their detrimental effects on tooth enamel. Citrus-flavored candies are particularly acidic and have been known to cause erosion over time if they’re not brushed away correctly after consumption.

Coffee and Tea: Stain Alert!

Coffee and tea are two of the most popular hot beverages in the world. But while they may be delicious, they can wreak havoc on your teeth if consumed too often. Coffee and tea are some of the worst food and drink for your teeth, as their dark colors can quickly leave behind unsightly stains.

To prevent permanent discoloration, taking special care when consuming these beverages is essential. For instance, drinking coffee or tea through a straw is one way to minimize contact with the teeth and reduce staining potential. Additionally, rinsing with water after consuming either beverage can help remove surface-level particles before they have time to set into the enamel of your teeth.

Pickles and Citrus Fruits: Beware the Acidity

Pickles and citrus fruits are popular snack choices for many, but when it comes to the health of your teeth, these two snacks may be doing more harm than good. To keep your dental health in check, you may want to think twice before reaching for either of these acidic foods.

Acidity is one of the worst things for tooth enamel since it can erode the protective coating that helps prevent cavities and other decay. The high acidity levels in pickles and citrus fruits make them some of the worst food and drink choices for your teeth. The longer you expose your pearly whites to these acidic items, the worse off they will be in terms of potential damage caused by erosion.

Which Foods And Drinks Are Acidic?

Reducing the amount of acidic food and increasing the number of alkaline foods you eat can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay.  Below is a list of common foods and drinks and how acidic or alkaline they are.

Best for teeth Neutral Worst for teeth
Food/Drink Acidity Level
Almonds Slightly alkaline
Apples Slightly alkaline
Apricots Slightly alkaline
Avocado Moderately alkaline
Asparagus Highly alkaline
Baking soda Moderately alkaline
Bananas Slightly alkaline
Beef Highly acidic
Blueberries Moderately alkaline
Broccoli Highly alkaline
Brussel sprouts Highly alkaline
Butter (salted) Slightly acidic
Butter (unsalted) Neutral
Cabbage Highly alkaline
Cantaloupe Slightly acidic
Carrots Highly alkaline
Cashews Moderately acidic
Cauliflower Highly alkaline
Celery Moderately alkaline
Cheese (hard) Highly acidic
Cheese (soft) Slightly acidic
Cherries Moderately acidic
Chicken Moderately acidic
Chocolate Highly acidic
Coffee Highly acidic
Cola Highly acidic
Corn Moderately acidic
Cranberries Highly acidic
Cucumber Highly alkaline
Dates Slightly alkaline
Eggs Slightly acidic
Fish Slightly acidic
Flour (white) Highly acidic
Grapes Moderately alkaline
Honey Slightly acidic
Ice cream Highly acidic
Lamb Highly acidic
Lemon juice Highly acidic
Lentils Slightly acidic
Lettuce Moderately alkaline
Liquor Highly acidic
Mango Highly alkaline
Mayonnaise Moderately acidic
Milk (soy) Slightly alkaline
Mushrooms Slightly alkaline
Oats Moderately acidic
Olive oil Neutral
Onion Highly alkaline
Orange juice Highly acidic
Oysters Slightly acidic
Pasta Highly acidic
Pastries Highly acidic
Peaches Slightly acidic
Peanuts Highly acidic
Peas Slightly alkaline
Pickles Highly acidic
Pineapple Slightly acidic
Pinto beans Moderately acidic
Plums Slightly acidic
Pork Highly acidic
Potato (without skin) Moderately acidic
Potato skins Highly alkaline
Prunes Highly acidic
Pumpkin seeds Slightly acidic
Raspberries Slightly acidic
Rice (brown) Slightly acidic
Rice (white) Moderately acidic
Soft drink Highly acidic
Spinach (cooked) Slightly acidic
Spinach (uncooked) Highly alkaline
Sugar (brown) Moderately acidic
Sugar (white) Moderately acidic
Sweet potato Moderately acidic
Tea (green) Moderately alkaline
Tomatoes (cooked) Moderately acidic
Tomatoes (uncooked) Slightly alkaline
Tomato ketchup Moderately acidic
Turkey Moderately acidic
Vinegar Highly acidic
Walnuts Highly acidic
Water (bottle) Slightly acidic
Water (tap) Neutral
Watermelon Slightly acidic
Wine Highly acidic
Yogurt Slightly acidic
Zucchini Moderately alkaline

That’s not to say you should avoid acidic food altogether; many of these foods are very good for your health and should be eaten regularly.  The trick is to know how to eat these foods without causing damage to your teeth.  The opposite of acidic is alkaline, so if you eat something acidic, you should eat something alkaline after it to neutralize the acid levels in your mouth.  For example, something high in acidity, like chocolate, should be followed with a cup of green tea, which is alkaline.


Acidic foods and drinks can have a detrimental effect on your teeth if not considered. Some ways to minimize the damage include drinking more water, brushing after consuming acidic substances, and limiting exposure. However, it is essential to remember that moderation is key here regarding our diets and oral health. Taking care of our teeth can help us avoid costly dental treatments in the future, saving us time, money, and discomfort.

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