A list and illustrations of unhealthy food.

The 6 Worst Foods and Drinks for Your Teeth

There are many foods that can erode and stain your teeth but none are worse than the following list of unhealthy foods and beverages.

1. Soda

Soda is one of the worst drinks for your teeth as the sugars in the drink stay on your teeth, and create a perfect feeding ground for bacteria. The combination of bacteria and sugar forms an enamel-attacking acid, which causes tooth erosion. This erosion can also cause cavities, which trap more sugar and bacteria, resulting in tooth decay and even gum disease.

When your tooth enamel is weakened, your teeth are also easier to stain. Dark-colored sodas can stain or discolor your teeth. The caramel dye,which produces a soda’s deep brown color, contributes to teeth yellowing.

2. Potato Chips

Potato chips have a texture that leaves a sticky substance on teeth, and they also tend to get stuck in our teeth. This food debris feeds acid-producing bacteria that attacks your teeth and increases your risk of tooth decay.

The starch in potato chips is also known to dry out a person’s mouth. A low level of saliva production can increase a person’s risk of developing gum disease, as saliva helps stop the food that feeds acid-producing bacteria from getting stuck on your teeth.

3. Citrus

Citrus fruits and juices contain high amounts of acid that can erode enamel over time, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores and give your teeth a yellow tinge. Excessive consumption of citrus fruit can lead to recessed gums and canker sores.

4. Pickles

Vinegar used in the pickling process is very acidic, and therefore, wears away tooth enamel, which can also cause staining. The vinegar may also demineralize your teeth and the sugar in pickles can contribute towards cavities and decay. High acidic foods can eventually cause your gums to recede.

5. Coffee

Tannic acids from the tannins in coffee assist bacteria in creating acids that erode teeth. As the teeth become more brittle and thin, it is easier for the colors compounds of the tannins to stain the teeth. Coffee also contributes to bad breath as the acids in the tannins dry out your mouth.

6. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain acids and sugar, which can potentially cause tooth erosion and cavities. Studies have shown they cause enamel demineralization due to their low pH value, which can contribute to gum disease and infect wisdom teeth. They can also stain your teeth due to the brightly-colored dye that they contain.

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