5 Surprising Foods That Are Bad for Your Teeth

On March 3, 2016 / By Zöe Dental

Listen to a top Asheville dentist: it’s not just sugar that rots your teeth. While candy and soda can lead to cavities and gum disease, other foods can damage your teeth as well. Some of them may even surprise you. Even in the healthiest foods, substances are lurking that actually may damage your teeth and ruin their longevity. Here are five foods to avoid:

  1. Juices

Juicing is a fad for some and a way of life for others. You take the pure substance of the fruit and drink it down for the vitamins your body needs everyday. But think about it: fruit is made of sugar. Sure, it’s natural sugar, but any top Asheville dentist can explain that sugar is sugar, regardless of its source.

When you juice your fruit, you’re soaking your teeth in a bucket of sugar. The bacteria in your mouth consume that sugar like the greedy little monsters they are. Sugar then turns into acid, and acid wears away your enamel and causes cavities.

  1. Dried Fruit Snacks

Whether it’s turned into juice, eaten whole or dried to deliver a powerful pack of vitamins and nutrients, fruit is sugar. The thing about whole fruit, however, fresh from the tree or the ground, is that it carries a wallop of water in it. And that water carries the harmful acids out of your mouth with every bite.

Dried fruit simply removes all the water. It may seem like the perfect snack after a hard workout, but when your top Asheville dentist looks into your mouth, he sees the remnants of your fruity habits —fibers that stick onto your teeth and trap the sugar.

  1. Chewable Vitamins

Chewable vitamins aren’t just for kids any more. Adults choose them more and more to replace those rock-sized pills they used to swallow. And seniors are even more excited about getting their vitamins this way, as their big pills become harder to get down every morning.

But just like gummy bears and dried fruit, chewable vitamins easily stick to your enamel and in every tiny groove between your teeth. They’re difficult to remove and often trap acid and sugars for hours until you rinse your mouth or brush your teeth. While chewable vitamins may be the next big thing in health supplements, they also may be rotting your teeth.

  1. White Wine

You may succumb to a glass or two of red wine with your dinner or before bed. But it’s bad for you, and not just because of the alcohol. Red wine can stain your pearly whites. In fact, it’s one of the worst offenders for staining teeth. While a top Asheville dentist can provide a whitening solution, you may think the best way to avoid it is to drink your wine white.

But beware. White wine may be just as bad. The acids in all wine wears away the protective enamel of your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to stains from every other food or drink you put in your mouth.

  1. Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce may be a North Carolina staple, but to really maintain a healthy smile, all top Asheville dentists recommend leaving it out of your diet. Barbecue sauce often contains two ingredients that can damage your teeth: sugar and vinegar. Sugar provides bacteria with the food it loves, and vinegar’s acid destroys your enamel.

And the coloring in the sauce is just waiting to leave more stains on your teeth. Eaten often enough, barbecue sauce not only significantly increases your odds of developing cavities and gum decay; it also does it while turning your teeth yellow.

Quick Tips

Here are several tips from Asheville dentists for preserving your teeth:

  • Drink your juice from a straw and wait 45 minutes to brush.
  • Floss and brush after eating dried fruit (or stick to fresh fruit).
  • Stick to vitamins in pill form.
  • Gargle with water right away after drinking wine.
  • Apply Vaseline to your teeth before eating ‘cue (or brush immediately after eating).

—Dr. Perry Stamatiades