There are plenty of foods that people should be avoiding if they want to avoid tooth damage and keep their teeth in good shape longer; here are a few:
Apples: Already struggling with weak teeth? Skip crunchy fruits and veggies, which can further crack or damage fragile teeth. Apples and carrots are actually two of the biggest culprits of cracked teeth. But don’t skip these healthy treats altogether: cut them into bite-size pieces before you enjoy them.
Hard candy: Sucking candies exposes your mouth to harsh sugars for longer periods of time, and chewing on them can break or crack teeth, fillings, and sealants.
Pasta sauce: Tooth enamel is particularly vulnerable to dark colors, including red pasta sauce — porous enamel can easily absorb this coloring, leading to unsightly stains. Plus, the acidity from tomatoes makes teeth temporarily more porous. But instead of staying off the sauce, solve the problem by swishing with plenty of water while you’re enjoying an Italian repast.
Bottled water: Convinced bottled water is better than tap? Not where your teeth are concerned. The problem is during the purification process, water become more acidic. Acid and teeth equals cavities.
Breath mints: Sucking on breath mints all day is like soaking your teeth in sugar. Go sugar-free, and opt for mints sweetened with xylitol, which appears to combat bacteria associated with tooth decay.
Chewy candies: Sticky candies get stuck between braces and teeth, allowing plaque to build up. Plus, a chewy candy in the wrong place at the wrong time can easily take a tooth out. But here’s the good news: If you need a sugar hit, dark chocolate is soft on teeth and may combat plaque.
Potato chips: The texture of potato chips, crunchy at first, then gummy post-chewing, means they tend to linger in your mouth longer. When chip particles get stuck between teeth, acid-producing bacteria indulge in a snacking attack that ups your risk of tooth decay.
Popcorn: Much like potato chips, popcorn can wedge between teeth and foster bacterial growth. Un-popped kernels are even worse. When it gets to the bottom of the bag, people don’t realize that biting on kernels can break your teeth.
White bread: The simple sugars in white bread quickly dissolve inside the mouth, causing a surge of acid that can erode tooth enamel. Plus, white bread takes on a gummy consistency when chewed, meaning small particles can get trapped between teeth.