It Turns Out Crackers Can Be Worse For Your Teeth Than Candy

A typical catchphrase uttered by dentists is "Eating too much candy is bad for your teeth," or something to that effect. However, some common snack foods are capable of doing even more damage to your teeth than candy. Not every food that can harm your dental health is so obvious, including one snack you might eat often.

Crackers may seem innocent enough, but they're a dental nightmare in disguise. Although crackers aren't sugary like the candy, gum, and soda our dentists advise us to cut back on, the texture and the amount of time crackers can linger on our teeth can erode our pearly whites and cause dental damage.

The key is to watch out for how your favorite crackers feel in your mouth — it's a significant part of what can cause future dental issues. While the occasional cracker snack is totally fine, if you care about your dental health, you may want to pay attention to how often you crack open that box of Ritz.

Why crackers are worse for your teeth than candy

Sure, candy is high in sugar, but eating crackers hits at the root of what really causes tooth decay. Crackers contribute to the amount of acid we'll have in our mouths later, and acid is the bane of everyone who wants to prevent tooth decay. Just like candy, crackers can easily get stuck in our teeth. If you've ever noticed that crackers feel "sticky" in your mouth, that feeling can lead to the cause of future dental decay. Starchy foods that stick to our teeth aren't great for long-term dental health.

It's hard to get starch out of our teeth, and the longer it sits in those crevices, the more bacteria can develop around our pearly whites. This is where the acid comes in: the bacteria that your crackers attract will be turned into acid around those cracker remnants, and the acid will eat away at our teethand could cause things like cavities and other forms of tooth decay. By contrast, candy is high in sugar, but it may not attract the same amount of bacteria that crackers will. Fewer crackers equals less bacteria in our mouths, which will give us healthier smiles.

Other snacks that are shockingly bad for your teeth

When it comes to dental decay, crackers are far from the only culprit. Some of the foods that negatively affect our teeth may come as a surprise — especially those that are good for our bodies. The foods to limit if you're concerned about your dental health don't fall into one nutritional category either. 

While fruit is a great source of vitamins, citrus fruits can decay teeth fairly easily due to the high acid content. Like crackers, bread and popcorn also stick to our teeth and cause bacteria to spread into plaque where the food rests. Even dry fruits aren't entirely safe, as their "gummy" texture makes them prone to staying in our mouths long enough for bacteria to invade.

The good news is that we don't have to give up any of these foods entirely, and plenty of other foods are still completely dentist-approved. Crackers' "sticky" mouthfeel makes them attract bacteria a little too easily, so they may be worse for our mouths than candy, but they're still fine to eat in moderation.