The Worst Foods For Your Teeth, And How Dentists Want You To Eat Them

It is no mystery that what you try to eat and consume can impact your oral overall health ― feel about enamel-eroding sugars and stain-inducing coffee beverages.

But by focusing all of our focus on what we consume, we ignore that how we consume and drink performs just as pivotal a position.

“There are popular approaches of eating selected foodstuff that can place abnormal force on your teeth, even with how healthful they come about to be,” stated Dr. Cheryline Pezzullo, clinical assistant professor and director for neighborhood-primarily based applications at NYU School of Dentistry. “Over time, these approaches can put you on the quickly keep track of for weakened tooth enamel, weakened dental restorations and elevated possibility of dental emergencies.” Yikes.

The good thing is, generating even a couple of small adjustments to your present roster of noshing tactics can assistance you curb potential damage. Go through on to discover out the foodstuff you are almost certainly eating in techniques that are not executing your teeth any favors — in addition, how best to counteract their outcomes.

Foodstuff To Eat In different ways, And How

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, like lemons, oranges and grapefruits, are acidic and can erode tooth enamel. To lower the results, turbo-chew and swallow so the fruit does not have time to loiter on your tooth. Pezzullo also proposed rinsing your mouth with water to aid neutralize the acidity. And if spa water’s additional your velocity, drink it with a straw to limit immediate speak to with the acidity.


Biting into apples with force can bring about strain on the tooth and possibly direct to enamel destruction or tooth sensitivity. “By cutting an apple into wedges, you can push the fruit right to the again enamel, which are specifically designed to grind, crush, and tear foods,” stated Dr. Lauren Becker, a dentist dependent in New York Town.

Corn On The Cob

“Eating corn on the cob by biting specifically into the kernels can place substantial tension on your entrance tooth,” Pezzullo reported. “This can direct to tooth fractures, chipped teeth, or even dislodging of dental restorations, these types of as fillings or crowns.” Rather, minimize the kernels off the cob and take in them with a fork, or delight in cooked corn in a different kind, like corn salads or soups.


Equivalent to citrus fruits, pickles are acidic and can contribute to enamel erosion. A several pickles right here and there are not most likely to trigger dental hurt, said Dr. Elizabeth Cranford Robinson, a dentist at Cranford Dental in Rock Hill, South Carolina. But if you take place to be a pickle fiend, think about savoring them as element of a meal as opposed to solo to lessen acid exposure.


Popcorn hulls can get wedged in your gums and bring about inflammation, so do your best to make brushing and flossing a post-popcorn ritual. “As you’re taking in, also acquire care not to crunch on any kernels,” Robinson reported. “They aren’t intended to be chewed and can cause a tooth to crack.”


Nuts, particularly entire kinds, have a rough exterior that can pose a possibility to enamel — particularly if you chunk down forcefully. Even if you really do not conclusion up with a chipped tooth, you might knowledge microcracks that can make it painful to chew, not to point out improve your sensitivity to scorching and cold meals.

Pezzullo implies enjoying nuts in more compact portions (just one at a time, chewing slowly but surely and very carefully) or switching to slivered nuts to lower the hazard of dental harm.

Uncooked Veggies

The firmness of uncooked veggies, like carrots and broccoli, can involve forceful and excessive chewing to split down, which may possibly lead to microcracks or chips in tooth that are especially vulnerable ― say, thanks to grinding or erosion.

To avoid any supplemental put on and tear, “consider reducing uncooked greens into smaller sized items or frivolously steaming them to make them easier to chew,” Pezzullo explained.

istetiana via Getty Pictures

Will not dig straight in with your tooth, dentists warn.

Tortilla Chips

Thanks to their crunch aspect, tortilla chips have a tendency to morph into little shards as you chow down, with these tiny slivers finding caught involving teeth or close to gums and resulting in swelling.

Pezzullo advised remaining conscious of your bite pressure as you take in tortilla chips. Chew them gradually and comprehensively to shield your gums from finding stabbed, and drink h2o to make positive any residual chips are eradicated from your mouth.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is sticky and can adhere to the tooth, increasing your chance of tooth decay. Lots of manufacturers are also high in extra sugar, so if you are to indulge, devote in pure peanut butter in which the only substances are peanuts and salt.

If you simply cannot brush or floss ideal absent, pair peanut butter with apple slices. “High-fiber foods can help clear your tooth and improve salivation, which can neutralize the acids in your mouth,” Robinson reported.


Smoothies commonly have large quantities of pure sugars and acids from fruits — furthermore, their thicker texture can trigger every sip to stick around more time on tooth surfaces, encouraging tooth decay. “Seeds or berries can also embed into tooth grooves and underneath gums, major to ache and extra eventual decay,” Robinson explained.

To reduce get in touch with with your teeth, consume smoothies with a straw and rinse your mouth with drinking water when you’re completed.

Meals To Look at Out For Promptly Following You Eat Them

Steak Or Jerky

As you are having steak or jerky, compact parts can easily lodge concerning your teeth and gums. “This can lead to undesirable breath and sooner or later decay if the foods remains up coming to the enamel surfaces,” Robinson mentioned. In the meantime, beef jerky tends to adhere to tooth grooves and can lead to destruction to your enamel if not removed immediately.

Immediately after consuming a meat-centric meal or snack, make certain to dislodge any meat stuck to the chewing surfaces of your enamel (say, with a toothpick) and get your floss on to get rid of all particles from the spaces in between your gums and enamel.

Complete-Grain Bread

Get this: Full-grain bread eventually turns to sugar in the mouth just like white bread does — cue bacterial progress and eventual tooth decay. “Be aware of bread that incorporates several grains, which can make the bread stick in the grooves of your tooth,” Robinson reported.

She additional that the finest way to remove food stuff from these grooves is with a water flosser, nevertheless swishing with water and flossing well can also be powerful.


Potatoes are an additional soft, starchy carb that can stick to your tooth, doubling as a feast for the microbes in your mouth and escalating your chance of tooth decay, Robinson claimed. Actually, any foods that incorporate starchy carbs must be accessorized with a glass of drinking water to flush your mouth amongst bites, followed by a meetup with your toothbrush and dental floss.

Tomato sauce is more acidic than you'd think.

grandriver through Getty Photographs

Tomato sauce is a lot more acidic than you would believe.

Pasta Sauce

Tomatoes are a further acidic offender that can problems your teeth’s enamel. “When mixed with starchy pasta, the sauce is much more probable to bind to your enamel and settle into the grooves,” Robinson claimed. To neutralize the acidity and discourage the starch from (pretty much) sticking about, consume a good deal of water with your dish and make sure to brush and floss as soon as you can.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits, like raisins or apricots, are sticky and can cling to the grooves of your again enamel some thing intense. And the longer they linger, the a lot more time the bacteria in your mouth has to feed on the sugars and produce destructive acids. “This can erode the really hard enamel area of the teeth and finally guide to cavities,” Robinson mentioned.

Make guaranteed to rinse your mouth with drinking water right after consuming dried fruits, followed by a brush-and-floss session as shortly as you can to take out any remaining residue.