Most people know certain foods are worse than others when it comes to what they do to teeth. However, some consumables are so bad for oral health that even dentists don’t touch them. Keep reading to learn about several foods you should avoid bringing into your kitchen, let alone tasting.
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1. Hard Candies
In addition to being filled with sugar, hard candies can also damage your teeth by breaking or chipping them when you bite down. If you just can’t imagine forgoing hard candies altogether, look for varieties that have a lower than average sugar content.
Also, rather than chewing on the hard candies, suck on them until they’re so small and thin that you can easily swallow them or just let them completely melt in your mouth. Chewing the candies may be a possibility at that stage, but only do so when they’ve been in your mouth so long that the overall texture is much softer than it was originally, due to your saliva.
Chewing ice is probably something you do without even thinking about it, possibly when you’re drinking some sort of slushy beverage. However, like hard candies, ice can wreak havoc on your teeth. Never chew the cubes that make their way into your mouth, but wait patiently for them to melt.
If you get too annoyed by the sensation of ice in your mouth, do what you can to avoid using ice cubes altogether. For example, ask for beverages without ice when you go to restaurants, and keep beverages chilled in the refrigerator at home so you don’t have to rely on ice to cool them down.
3. Full-Sized Apples
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but dentists often recommend avoiding biting into apples if you’re already struggling with tooth weakness. The simple act of biting into an apple could cause teeth to become loose or even fall out. However, don’t avoid apples altogether.
Just avoid eating them whole, and instead cut them into bite-sized chunks before enjoying. That way, your teeth can be used to work on the apple once it enters your mouth, and you won’t have to deal with the potential hassles of taking a bite and realizing that doing so led to a tooth problem.
4. Gummy Candies
Most dentists would advise keeping your candy intake to a minimum no matter what, but they’ll probably really be against you choosing gummy candies. That’s because they tend to get trapped within and between teeth and can stay there for too long, ultimately causing cavities.
If you must indulge in these types of treats, brush and floss after doing so. That way you’ll have a good chance of getting rid of sugary remnants that could cause tooth decay. Also, select gummy candies with a slightly harder texture so you can suck on them and allow them to gradually melt rather than biting down hard and letting the gummy bits make their way into the crevices of your mouth.
5. Corn On The Cob
Corn on the cob is bad news for people with loose teeth or those with braces or dentures. The method of biting down on the corn cob and nibbling it to dislodge the juicy bits of corn could be enough to cause an emergency trip to the dentist. However, don’t steer completely clear of this summertime favorite. Just make preparations first by scraping the corn off the cob so all that’s left to do is enjoy the edible portion.
6. Breath Mints That Contain Sugar
Breath mints are supermarket checkout line staples, and they may be just the things that make you feel confident just before you move in for a kiss with someone special. However, as convenient as those functional treats are, they could also cause cavities.
If you opt for breath mints that have sugar in them, they could cause your mouth to become overly ridden with bacteria and make cavities more prone to occurring. However, bad breath is something everyone wants to avoid, and you can still combat it with breath mints. Just make sure to choose the types without sugar.
7. Dried Fruit
Similarly to gummy candies, dried fruit can linger in your mouth much too long because it gets stuck on your teeth. Although dried fruit might be convenient if you need sustenance during long car trips, try to choose fresh fruit instead when the option is practical. Otherwise, go with something that’s easy to spot in your mouth, like raisins. Their dark color should help you discover if there are bits of dried fruit still in your mouth even after you’ve finished eating.
8. Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches
This easy-to-make sandwich option is sure to make you have childhood flashbacks, but if you’re not careful, it also might make you recall the first time you ever went to the dentist to have a cavity filled. That’s because bread, peanut butter and jelly all tend to have high sugar contents.
Furthermore, like dried fruit and gummy candy, peanut butter and jelly can get lodged between your teeth and stay there too long. Because PB&J is so filled with sugar, it’s best to eat other types of sandwiches. However, if you can’t tame your cravings for these straightforward but beloved sandwiches, at least go with smooth peanut butter rather than a crunchy variety, so you don’t have to deal with whole parts of nuts in-between your teeth.
9. Potato Chips
Although they’re one of the most accessible snacks you can buy, potato chips are bad for your teeth because of their deceiving and changing texture. When you first reach for a potato chip and pop it into your mouth, the snack is crispy and easy to eat.
However, after you chew it, the texture becomes much softer and likely to get stuck in your teeth. Potato chips also contain starches, which can contribute to cavities because they stay in your mouth long after you’ve eaten.
10. White Sandwich Bread
This household staple may seem like one of the healthier choices on this list, because it’s not obviously coated with sugar. However, this type of bread contains refined carbohydrates with simple sugars. They cause acid to form in your mouth that could make cavities more likely to happen.
Furthermore, like many of the things you’ve already read about, this is another food that easily gets stuck in your teeth. Although most breads have similar consistencies, you can choose types other than white breads to cut down on carbohydrate intake.
Keep in mind that the key word to keep in mind when thinking about all these foods is “avoidance.” If you eat them from time to time, that’s probably okay and doesn’t mean cavities will crop up in your mouth overnight.
However, when you do decide to eat these foods or others like them that aren’t the best for your teeth, make a beeline for the bathroom afterwards so you can brush and floss thoroughly immediately after chowing down.