Local Dental Blogs - Philadelphia, PA

12 Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Since eating involves your mouth, it’s only natural that food can have substantial effects on your teeth. In fact, many favorites are actually detrimental to oral health in excessive quantities.

To that end, here are 12 foods that are bad for your teeth.

1. Hard/Chewy Candies

Hard and chewy candies are bad for your teeth for two reasons.

First of all, sugar isn’t good for your teeth. It feeds bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

Additionally, hard candies can potentially chip or damage teeth, or even stab you in the mouth. Meanwhile, chewy candies can get stuck in between teeth (depositing more sugar) and possibly damage orthodontic devices (like braces).

2. Sour Candies

Sour candies have sugar in them, sure, but they also contain acids (which contribute to the sourness) that are bad for your teeth and can create canker sores. Not to mention they’re chewy.

3. Sodas

Sodas are a substantial threat to your teeth. They dry out your mouth, making it harder for saliva to carry out its functions (washing away debris, breaking down food, helping repair damage or decay to teeth and other structures, etc.).

Soda also stains your teeth and transports acid and sugar into your mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

4. Alcohol

In theory, alcohol might sound like it’s good because it kills bacteria, right?

Well, it’ll also kill the good bacteria in your mouth.

Additionally, alcohol can cause dry mouth, making it harder for saliva to do its job. 

5. Ice

Ice is just water. How could it be bad?

The issue is chewing ice. Chewing ice often can wear down enamel and you risk chipping or breaking your teeth.

6. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits have vitamin C and other nutrients, but like other fruits, they also have sugar.

However, unlike other fruits, citrus has large amounts of enamel-eroding acids that can also create painful sores in your mouth.

7. Pickles

This burger favorite can be bad for your teeth due to the vinegar involved in pickling. Vinegar is an acid, meaning it could potentially erode tooth enamel.

8. Dried Fruits

Unfortunately, dried fruits can be bad for your teeth, too, mainly due to their stickiness and chewiness. Of course, they also contain sugar.

9. Bread and Pasta

When you chew bread and pasta — especially white bread/pasta — it breaks down into starches that get stuck in your teeth and feed bacteria. This sticks in between your teeth, making things worse.

Whole grain options may be better, as they contain fewer added sugars.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are highly acidic, which can lead to the weakening of the enamel. That means the tomato sauce you put on your pasta can worsen the problems that pasta already causes.

Also, ketchup (as well as some pasta sauces) has sugar in it.

11. Coffee and Tea

Unfortunately, your morning pick-me-up can harm your teeth if you aren’t careful.

Coffee and tea have some acid in them and, on their own, can stain your teeth over time, although having them plain and in moderation followed by good oral habits can help.

The problem comes in with added substances. If you’re putting flavored syrups and sugars in your coffee or tea, it won’t be good for your teeth.

12. Popcorn

Popcorn is infamous for getting stuck in every last crevice between your teeth. 

Then, there are the kernels. By biting down on a kernel, you run the risk of tooth damage. Even if you’re fine, that shell gets stuck in your teeth, helping bad bacteria grow.


Now, none of these foods are inherently bad. The key is to practice moderation and to stay on top of your oral health habits.

Additionally, it’s crucial to see a dentist. They’ll make sure to fix any problems caused by these and other foods so you can continue enjoying them in healthy moderation.

If you need to schedule an appointment, reach out to Absolute Smile. All new patients get a free consultation, so contact us today!

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