Foods to Avoid to Maintain Healthy Tooth Enamel

We all know common food items to avoid in order to maintain healthy teeth: sugary candies, soda and fruit juices all contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel, ultimately causing unwanted cavities. However, a multitude of common “healthy” foods also belong on the list of harmful food to your teeth. In order to provide the best care for your teeth, Dater Dentistry recommends avoiding these foods and drinks:

1. Citrus Fruits

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits all contain high levels of citric acid, which is one of the most common destroyers of tooth enamel. Because of the high acidic content of these fruits, decay is almost as common as if you were to brush your teeth with Coca Cola. However, it is no secret that fruit is a necessary component to our everyday diet, so we don’t recommend eliminating it from your diet completely. Instead, eat fruit as a side along with other meals, such as a chicken and pineapple salad.

2. Vinegar

Although vinegar is used as a low-fat substitute in many recipes, it contains mainly acetic acid, which again, destroys tooth enamel. One common trend found among adults attempting to prevent diabetes is to drink Apple Cider Vinegar. However, majority of research done on the topic suggests that although it does have some benefits, more common practices such as dieting and exercising produce better results. If you do want to start or continue drinking apple cider vinegar, it is again recommended drinking it alongside a meal so that the acidic content isn’t as prominent.

3. Pasta Sauce

Unfortunately to Italian food lovers, pasta or marinara sauce is not recommended to eat in order to maintain healthy teeth. Enamel easily absorbs dark food coloring, leading to unpleasant stains. The high acidic content also found in tomatoes leads to the easy breakdown of enamel. If you are resistant to laying off the pasta, simply wash down your Italian feast with plenty of water.

4. White Wine

Again, apologies to all Italian lovers. Although one glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away, quite the opposite is true for dentists. While red wine may easily cause staining, white wine is deemed the more acidic of the two, making it more harmful to tooth enamel and making the stains from dark colored food more likely to remain.

5. Bottled Water

Bottle or tap? Although most people are inclined to grab a bottle, water actually becomes more acidic during the purification process. Also, the lack of fluoride in bottled water is a main reason dentists recommend not drinking it. Fluoride is absorbed into the enamel and helps to make the entire tooth structure resistant to decay.

6. PB&J

Although this snack is an easy one-way ticket to childhood nostalgia, the high sugar content of all three of the ingredients is a surefire way to erode enamel. Also, because peanut butter and jelly are both sticky ingredients, the enamel-eroding bacteria is more likely to stick to the surface of the teeth, making it harder to be washed away by milk or (tap) water.

We hope that this list doesn’t put too many restrictions on your daily favorites. Although the harmful effects of most of these items can be  avoiding by accompanying them with a beverage or healthy meal, for best results it is recommended that these foods are avoided all together. For additional information or further inquiries, please Request an Appointment.

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