You should know by now that to keep your pearly whites pearly, one needs to adhere to regular brushing and flossing. But that’s not all you need to do! Besides eating teeth-healthy foods to promote health, you should limit your intake of some foods, or at least rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth after eating certain foods – ones that may surprise you!

But why are some foods bad for my teeth?

Everyone has bacteria living in the mouth, and bacteria need to burn sugars to stay alive. When they burn sugars they find on your teeth and in your mouth, they produce byproducts like acids which then dissolve your tooth enamel. This is where cavities come from! The acids bacteria produce in your mouth cling to your tooth enamel and slowly corrode them over time. You might think that sodas and candies would be the worst, but read on and you’ll see what doctors say is the most damaging food to your teeth…

The main culprits are sticky and sugary foods and drinks. Stickier foods that are also sugary cling to your teeth longer and break down your enamel faster. Also, acidic foods are found to have bad effects on your teeth as they actually dissolve your teeth over time. Besides that, any foods or medications that slow or stop saliva production in the mouth can contribute to tooth decay because, just like rinsing with water, your saliva helps to naturally wash out your mouth, dissolving food particles and removing them.

So just what foods are bad for my teeth?

Now, even though these foods and drinks are all bad for your teeth, they’re not necessarily unhealthy, and especially in the case of citruses, they can be very benficial to your health, so don’t stop eating them, but do take better care of your teeth after eating. If you’re at work or for some other reason you can’t brush your teeth after consuming these foods and drinks, then at least rinse your mouth out with water, and you can slow the decay of your teeth by washing away the sugars and sticky foods and preventing the bacteria from burning those sugars in your mouth.

Let’s start with the obvious:

Sugary Drinks

Sodas, sports drinks, juices and the like have a great impact on the health of your teeth. If you need a sugary beverage, it’s best to drink it all at once, rather than sipping it every so often, because as long as you’re drinking it, your teeth are bathed in acids.

Hard Candy

Just like soda, hard candy and other candies are bad for your teeth. Because hard candies are also sticky, they can have double the impact to the health of your teeth since they hang on to your teeth longer, lingering as they slowly dissolve with your saliva.

Then you’ve got some more foods to watch out for that you might not think of regarding tooth decay:

Dried Fruits

What? Dried fruits. You’re kidding! Nope, they’re sticky! And sweet! That’s the same double-whammy as hard candy. They can be as high in sugar as candies or sodas, even though it’s usually natural sugars, and good for your body.


Really? But it’s just alcohol you might say. In fact, alcohol causes dry mouth – it has the effect of reducing saliva production, so your mouth isn’t getting cleaned out as much naturally by the saliva. Alcoholics often contract gum disease and have irritated soft tissues.


Citruses and other acidic foods can be a problem. Even tomatoes can hurt your teeth. When eating lemons and limes and kumquats and the like, remember to rinse your mouth and try to brush your teeth. But they’re good for you!

Coffees and Black ees

Sure, they can stain my teeth, but…  In fact coffees and teas can make the teeth stickier so that food particles stay on your teeth longer. Teas can also dehydrate you and may contribute to less saliva production.

Starchy Foods – The Potato Chip

Chips and breads and the like can get stuck between teeth and also get compressed down in there after compressing and getting sticky when wettened. And sure enough they have sugars too, so they’re feeding the bacteria too.

And SURPRISE! Number ONE Worst Food for Your Teeth IS:


The saltine cracker is the Number One bad food for your teeth. They’re worse than candy since they’re actually a highly modified and processed starch that is readily fermented by bacteria. A cracker can help bacteria in your mouth multiply exponentially. Just like breads, when you eat a cracker, it gets soggy and sticky and dense, and stays in between your teeth where the bacteria just have a feast like no other because of the starches and stickiness. Give your kids some goldfish or whole-wheat crackers next time instead.