We all know there are foods that just aren’t good for our teeth. While all foods produce some
plaque, there are foods that are more damaging to your teeth than others. These include
sugary or sticky foods that can cause plaque that can eventually erode tooth enamel.
After eating these foods throughout the day, you might want to spend a little extra time
cleaning your teeth. This doesn’t mean hard brushing, just a gentle, detailed cleaning 30
minutes or more after consuming these items.
Although fruit is generally considered to be beneficial to your smile, dried fruit is deprived of
much of its water. Water helps balance oral bacteria as well replenish your saliva. It also acts as
a buffer between the sugar contained in the fruit and your teeth.
With dried fruits, their sticky nature and reduced water content make them harmful to your
teeth. The fruits can stick to your teeth and cause damage to enamel. Dried fruits have also
been shown to spike blood sugar in a way that fruits in their natural form don’t.
Sodas have a high sugar content while diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which tend to be
acidic and harsh on tooth enamel. Soda that contains traditional sugar is a huge plaque
generator. Since soda is a liquid, this plaque can get in virtually all spaces between teeth and
cause plaque in hard-to- reach places.
Always wait a minimum of 30 minutes after drinking soda or consuming other sweets before
brushing. For a sugar-free, calorie-free soda alternative, try sparkling water!
Carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates such as those found in white bread and
bleached flour, have been known to create plaque on the teeth and are damaging to enamel. If
you eat bread regularly, opt for a whole wheat version. This can help reduce plaque and will
enable you to have an easier time brushing your teeth.
Alcohol is extremely corrosive to your tooth enamel. This drink can also cause more plaque. To
help minimize the effects of alcohol on your teeth, be sure to drink water along with your drink.
Never brush immediately after consuming alcohol, and always brush carefully to help remove
plaque before it turns into tartar!
Sticky sweets such as candy are, like dried fruits, one of the worst initiators of plaque. They not
only stick to your teeth, but also generate harmful bacteria that can eat away at your tooth
enamel. Candy should always be eaten in moderation, if at all. The worst candies are caramels,
sour candies, and gummy bears.
When consuming candy, drink water to help reduce damage to your tooth enamel. You can
gently brush away the plaque and floss as part of your normal oral care routine.
Although brushing immediately after you eat these foods isn’t necessary—and might even be
harmful—you will need to spend some extra time brushing. These foods can generate plaque
which you’ll need to safely and regularly remove from your teeth to be sure it doesn’t turn into