There are certain foods that can have a negative effect on your smile. But if you eat them in moderation and are consistently following good oral health habits, there aren’t any foods you can’t enjoy once in a while.
So why are some foods bad for your teeth? It all depends on what they contain and the effects they have on your teeth.
Certain foods that are high in sugar — such as candy, bakery items, and other sucrose-rich foods — can wear down the protective coating on your teeth. Some highly acidic foods — such as red wine, vinegar-based dressings, and citrus fruits — can do the same thing.
Eating a lot of sugary foods without caring for your teeth can lead to things like tooth decay, cavities, and even broken or lost teeth. But brushing after eating these types of foods can quickly rinse away any negative effects, leaving your teeth healthy and protected.
Other foods can stain your teeth. These can include things like grape juice, red wine, and — even though it’s not actually a food — tobacco from cigarettes or cigars. Brushing consistently can help prevent stains from becoming permanent but visiting your dentist regularly for a teeth cleaning can help as well.
Hard foods such as nuts with shells, hard candy, and other tough to chew foods can cause teeth to break, chip, or crack. It’s a good idea not to bite down on anything very hard because your teeth may not be strong enough to handle the pressure required to break through them.
And of course, eating too many unhealthy foods isn’t just bad for your teeth. It can be bad for the rest of your body as well. A balanced diet that includes sensible food choices is the best approach to healthy living.
Most people can enjoy “once in a while foods” without feeling the negative effects. Just make sure to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly.