Foods and Drinks That Will Ruin Your Smile
February 20, 2015
Avoid these foods if you want to keep your teeth glowing white.
Avoid These Smile-Ruining Foods
According to the American Dental Association, your mouth is the body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. What you put in your mouth not only impacts your health, but also your teeth, gums and, ultimately, your smile. Sometimes, your teeth are the first place to show signs of malnutrition.
Balsamic vinegar is a double whammy offender to your smile. Not only is it acidic, so that it can erode enamel, it also stains. If you do enjoy this healthy dressing, make sure it’s on a salad with a lot of lettuce. Lettuce has a natural ability to help teeth defend against corrosion with a protective film.
Berries may be good for your health, but blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and other berries can leave some serious stains on your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after eating, and brush if you can.
Despite the health benefits of lemon water and oranges, too much citrus can damage your teeth. Acidic foods can erode enamel, leaving teeth susceptible to decay over time.
Sticky foods like dried fruit stay on teeth longer, leading to decay and the weakening of the enamel. If you must indulge, brush and floss, or at least rinse, right after eating.
According to the American Dental Association, the sugar in hard candies can not only promote tooth decay, but the candies themselves may actually break your teeth. The flavored sugar is tempting to bite, but beware: if your teeth are in a weakened state, they could chip or break. If you’re in need of a sweet fix, sugarless gum that carries an ADA seal is a great alternative.
Juice and Sports Drinks
Fruit juice, sports drinks, sodas, meal replacement beverages, and vitamin-enhanced waters all contain added sugars. These sugars wear away at the enamel on your teeth and can lead to cavities.
Most supermarket ketchup is highly processed and contains both sugar and acid: a combination that wears away teeth enamel and promotes decay. Add in the fact that ketchup is one of those deep, dark colored foods that can easily stain teeth and you’ve got three reasons to stay away.
Most popsicles are just frozen, sugared-up juice. The way they stain your tongue after eating is evidence enough that they can also stain teeth. Plus, all that sugar is an easy way to invite cavities or tooth decay to wreak havoc on your smile.
Julie Clopper/Shutterstock and LunaseeStudios/Shutterstock
Processed and deeply colored sauces like soy sauce, teriyaki, Worchester, and even tomato have serious staining potential to teeth. Dr. Ben Lemielle explains that these effects are reversible if you practice good and regular dental hygiene.
All wine is acidic. That means it’s one of those foods that dissolves enamel on teeth at a microscopic level. White wine’s acidic composition etches tiny grooves into teeth, making them more susceptible to stains that other wines, like red wine, can inflict. Also, the tannins in wine bind to teeth, making them easier to stain. Slow the process by eating cheese with your wine. It actually creates a barrier, protecting teeth from the acids in wine.