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

It’s no top secret that what you try to eat and consume can have an impact on your oral health ― imagine about enamel-eroding sugars and stain-inducing coffee beverages.

But by concentrating all of our interest on what we take in, we forget that how we try to eat and consume performs just as pivotal a part.

“There are preferred approaches of having selected foodstuff that can put extreme tension on your tooth, inspite of how nutritious they transpire to be,” reported Dr. Cheryline Pezzullo, clinical assistant professor and director for neighborhood-based applications at NYU College or university of Dentistry. “Over time, these strategies can put you on the speedy observe for weakened tooth enamel, destroyed dental restorations and amplified chance of dental emergencies.” Yikes.

The good thing is, creating even a several little adjustments to your present roster of noshing methods can aid you curb foreseeable future damage. Study on to uncover out the foodstuff you are in all probability taking in in ways that aren’t performing your enamel any favors — furthermore, how ideal to counteract their outcomes.

Foods To Try to eat Differently, And How

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, like lemons, oranges and grapefruits, are acidic and can erode tooth enamel. To limit the results, turbo-chew and swallow so the fruit doesn’t have time to loiter on your tooth. Pezzullo also proposed rinsing your mouth with water to assist neutralize the acidity. And if spa water’s extra your speed, consume it with a straw to limit direct get in touch with with the acidity.


Biting into apples with power can trigger worry on the enamel and possibly direct to enamel injury or tooth sensitivity. “By chopping an apple into wedges, you can force the fruit instantly to the back again enamel, which are exclusively built to grind, crush, and tear food items,” mentioned Dr. Lauren Becker, a dentist primarily based in New York Town.

Corn On The Cob

“Eating corn on the cob by biting right into the kernels can put significant force on your entrance tooth,” Pezzullo explained. “This can lead to tooth fractures, chipped enamel, or even dislodging of dental restorations, this kind of as fillings or crowns.” Alternatively, minimize the kernels off the cob and take in them with a fork, or love cooked corn in a distinctive form, like corn salads or soups.


Very similar to citrus fruits, pickles are acidic and can contribute to enamel erosion. A couple pickles below and there are not most likely to trigger dental harm, said Dr. Elizabeth Cranford Robinson, a dentist at Cranford Dental in Rock Hill, South Carolina. But if you transpire to be a pickle fiend, think about experiencing them as section of a food as opposed to solo to reduce acid exposure.


Popcorn hulls can get wedged in your gums and cause swelling, so do your ideal to make brushing and flossing a write-up-popcorn ritual. “As you’re taking in, also take treatment not to crunch on any kernels,” Robinson claimed. “They are not meant to be chewed and can result in a tooth to break.”


Nuts, in particular entire ones, have a tricky exterior that can pose a risk to tooth — notably if you chunk down forcefully. Even if you don’t conclude up with a chipped tooth, you could expertise microcracks that can make it agonizing to chew, not to mention increase your sensitivity to incredibly hot and chilly foods.

Pezzullo indicates making the most of nuts in smaller sized portions (1 at a time, chewing gradually and diligently) or switching to slivered nuts to lessen the danger of dental problems.

Uncooked Veggies

The firmness of uncooked veggies, like carrots and broccoli, can involve forceful and excessive chewing to crack down, which could guide to microcracks or chips in tooth that are specially vulnerable ― say, thanks to grinding or erosion.

To keep away from any supplemental use and tear, “consider reducing raw greens into scaled-down items or flippantly steaming them to make them a lot easier to chew,” Pezzullo stated.

Don't dig straight in with your teeth, dentists warn.

istetiana via Getty Pictures

Really don’t dig straight in with your teeth, dentists warn.

Tortilla Chips

Thanks to their crunch variable, tortilla chips are inclined to morph into little shards as you chow down, with these smaller slivers finding caught between tooth or in close proximity to gums and creating irritation.

Pezzullo advised getting aware of your bite pressure as you take in tortilla chips. Chew them little by little and comprehensively to guard your gums from acquiring stabbed, and drink drinking water to make absolutely sure any residual chips are removed from your mouth.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is sticky and can adhere to the enamel, raising your danger of tooth decay. Several models are also substantial in additional sugar, so if you are to indulge, make investments in normal peanut butter in which the only ingredients are peanuts and salt.

If you can’t brush or floss correct absent, pair peanut butter with apple slices. “High-fiber foods can aid thoroughly clean your enamel and enhance salivation, which can neutralize the acids in your mouth,” Robinson mentioned.


Smoothies normally have significant amounts of pure sugars and acids from fruits — additionally, their thicker texture can trigger every sip to adhere all over more time on teeth surfaces, encouraging tooth decay. “Seeds or berries can also embed into teeth grooves and less than gums, major to soreness and more eventual decay,” Robinson stated.

To limit speak to with your tooth, consume smoothies with a straw and rinse your mouth with h2o when you are done.

Foodstuff To Observe Out For Immediately Immediately after You Take in Them

Steak Or Jerky

As you are having steak or jerky, smaller parts can effortlessly lodge among your tooth and gums. “This can direct to poor breath and eventually decay if the foodstuff continues to be following to the tooth surfaces,” Robinson explained. Meanwhile, beef jerky tends to stick to tooth grooves and can trigger injury to your enamel if not removed promptly.

Soon after having a meat-centric food or snack, make certain to dislodge any meat trapped to the chewing surfaces of your teeth (say, with a toothpick) and get your floss on to clear away all particles from the areas in between your gums and teeth.

Full-Grain Bread

Get this: Full-grain bread sooner or later turns to sugar in the mouth just like white bread does — cue bacterial growth and eventual tooth decay. “Be aware of bread that is made up of a variety of grains, which can make the bread adhere in the grooves of your tooth,” Robinson explained.

She added that the finest way to eliminate food from these grooves is with a h2o flosser, though swishing with h2o and flossing perfectly can also be productive.


Potatoes are one more smooth, starchy carb that can stick to your teeth, doubling as a feast for the bacteria in your mouth and rising your risk of tooth decay, Robinson reported. Actually, any meals that include starchy carbs should be accessorized with a glass of h2o to flush your mouth involving bites, followed by a meetup with your toothbrush and dental floss.

Tomato sauce is more acidic than you'd think.

grandriver via Getty Visuals

Tomato sauce is extra acidic than you would believe.

Pasta Sauce

Tomatoes are an additional acidic offender that can destruction your teeth’s enamel. “When combined with starchy pasta, the sauce is more most likely to bind to your teeth and settle into the grooves,” Robinson mentioned. To neutralize the acidity and discourage the starch from (practically) sticking around, consume a lot of water with your dish and make certain 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 tooth some thing fierce. And the for a longer time they linger, the much more time the bacteria in your mouth has to feed on the sugars and develop destructive acids. “This can erode the really hard enamel surface area of the tooth and inevitably direct to cavities,” Robinson claimed.

Make confident to rinse your mouth with drinking water just after consuming dried fruits, adopted by a brush-and-floss session as soon as you can to eliminate any remaining residue.