Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update   Read More

8 Surprising Foods Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Eat

  1. Home
  2. Dental Articles
  3. 8 Surprising Foods Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Eat

8 Surprising Foods Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Eat

  1. Home
  2. Dental Articles
  3. 8 Surprising Foods Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Eat

You know candy leads to cavities, and wine can stain your pearly whites. But it turns out there are a host of other (seemingly harmless) foods that can wreak havoc on your oral hygiene if you have them on the reg. Here, four dentists share the surprising teeth-harming culprits they try to avoid. 

Sunflower seeds

The seed itself is not bad for your choppers—it’s the hull that’s the problem, says Tyrone Rodriguez, DDS, a dentist in Washington State. “The fact that it has a hard outer shell, and you’re trying to bite through that shell, that can cause damage,” explains Rodriguez, who has had patients come in with cracked teeth(!) from chewing on sunflower seeds. If you’re a fan of the protein-packed snack, opt for hulled seeds.

Ice cubes

Keep the cold stuff in your glass, dentists warn. Chewing on ice is a bad idea because tooth enamel and ice are both made up of crystals, says Matthew Messina, DDS, a dentist based in Fairview Park, Ohio. “When you push two crystals against each other with enough force, one is going to break,” he explains. Rodriguez puts it another way: “If ice can damage highways, imagine what it can do to your teeth.” Point taken.

Flavoured waters and seltzer

Even if the flavouring is sugar-free, that doesn’t mean it’s acid-free, says Rodriguez. Some flavoured waters and seltzers contain citric acid, which is a common culprit of enamel erosion. “Once your enamel gets worn away, it will never come back,” adds Genaro Romo, DDS, a dentist based in Chicago. As the protective layer erodes, it leaves your teeth vulnerable to not only cavities and decay, but chips and sensitivity as well.

Dried fruit

Yes, dried fruit is full of fibre and vitamins. But there are cons to dehydrating sweet produce: “When you pull the water out, what’s left behind is concentrated sugar and acid, and the fruit itself becomes a lot stickier,” Rodriguez explains. Raisins and dried cherries can stick in the grooves and crevices in your teeth; and all the while, bacteria in your mouth feast on that deposited sugar. Those bacteria produce acid, which then dissolves your enamel and causes cavities.

Gummy vitamins

“Everyone thinks gummies are okay,” says Rodriguez. But the sweet and sticky vitamins aren’t much better for your teeth than candy. Instead, Rodriguez recommends chewable vitamins or even liquid versions: “You can take a few drops and add it to beverages or food,” he says.

Potato chips

Chips are sneaky, says Alice Boghosian, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Like dried fruit and gummies, they adhere to your teeth. “It’s something you don’t think about,” she says.

The starch in the potatoes turns to sugar, and the sugar gets metabolized into acid. If you enjoy a bag of chips now and again, make sure you wash them down with lots of water, and consider flossing afterwards, says Romo. “My suggestion, as a dentist, is always to make sure that when you’re done eating, you’re actually done; you’re not leaving anything behind,” he says. Cleaning your teeth right after a sticky snack is the way to avoid decay.

Sports drinks

Sure, they replenish electrolytes after a long workout but don’t forget they’re loaded with sugar. “It’s one thing to have a sports drink every once in a while,” says Romo. “But if [it’s part of your] daily workout routine, read the ingredients—you’d be surprised at some of these drinks, how much sugar they have,” says Romo. “I always tell my patients to go with the safest thing, which is water. Water is all you really need.”


Aside from the staining and the sugar, alcohol dries out your mouth, and that makes you more prone to cavities. “There’s a reason why your mouth salivates,” says Romo. “[Saliva] washes your mouth, it keeps everything clean, and it neutralizes the mouth so it’s not acidic.” But that doesn’t mean you need to swear off booze altogether, he adds. “With alcohol, moderation is the key.

Read the original article here.

More Dental Articles

Is There A Link Between Gum Disease And Mental Health?

Is There A Link Between Gum Disease And Mental Health?

Integration. The act or process of uniting different things. We live in a world that likes nothing better than to integrate: people, governance, business, money, medicine, agriculture, science, technology, food supply chains… it seems that somehow, we just can’t get...

read more
Six-Monthly Dental Visits: Tooth Truth Or An Accepted Lie?

Six-Monthly Dental Visits: Tooth Truth Or An Accepted Lie?

Ah, Finland. Land of the heavy metal band, kaboom country of the first molotov cocktail, and nation of kalsarikannit (staying in, drinking beer in your underwear with no intention of going out). The average Finn drinks their way through more than 12kg of coffee a...

read more

Flossing Guidelines: Should They Be Dropped?

Is it better to have flossed and lost than never to have flossed at all? Alfred Lord Tennyson had spent fifteen or twenty minutes a day strangling both distal interphalangeal joints with horsetail hair In Memoriam A.H.H. would have never been written. Certainly not...

read more

Who Has The Best Teeth In The World?

Have you ever wondered which nation has the most gleaming white smiles and straight teeth, though having a healthy smile is even better? In case you have, you’re in the right place. Did you know that Japan has the most dental hygienists in the world, at over 200,000?...

read more

Ready to get started?

Just fill in this form and we will be in touch

  • Treatment:

  • Preferred Date:

  • DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • Preferred Time:

  • :

Great dental practice! Fong is a very experienced dentist acquiring all my dental needs and the nurse Emily helped my dentist experience a comfortable one. Highly recommend them.

Michael D.

After hearing numerous excellent reports about this clinic, I decided to visit myself. I must say that it was a fantastic experience, even better than I expected! The clinic is bright and modern, the receptionists and nurses are friendly and help to put you at ease. The dentist is gentle, knowledgeable and explains everything so thoroughly!

I highly recommend this clinic!

Rebecca S.

Download Free Price List

Please enter your email so we can send you the price list in the next few minutes

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Achieving the Smile You Love Webinar

Thinking of upgrading your smile but not sure what to expect? Watch this webinar as Dr Antonoff takes you through 3 patients’ smiles he transformed right here in Melbourne

You have Successfully Subscribed!