6 Surprising Foods and Drinks that Can Damage Your Gums And Teeth

Closeup photo of woman smiling with teeth and damaged gums showing
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Caring for your gums and teeth involves observing proper dental hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing. It also means avoiding food and beverages that can cause plaque, a bacteria-filled sticky film that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Here are some of the food and drinks you need to avoid to keep your smile healthy.

Citrus Fruits

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are not only tasty but also healthy since they are packed with vitamin C. Unfortunately, they also contain acidic content which can erode your teeth’s enamel and make them more vulnerable to decay. Unfortunately, totally avoiding citrus fruits and juices is not be a feasible idea since they are a staple of a healthy diet. You need to get a dose of the vitamins and antioxidants they have. The best you can do is to consume them in moderation and rinse your mouth with water right after.

Coffee and Tea

Caffeinated coffee and tea can dry your mouth. Saliva helps to wash food debris in your mouth and reduce plaque so a dry mouth can lead to severe tooth decay and gum disease. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 30 percent of tooth decay in older adults is linked to dry mouth. The condition can also lead to other health issues such as fungal infections and burning sensations in the mouth. Drinking coffee and tea frequently can also stain your teeth. If you are going to drink coffee and tea, make sure to also drink plenty of water.


Grains such as wheat and barley contain phytic acid and gluten. When both pass through the digestive system, they remove minerals such as calcium from the body. This eventually leads to loss of minerals in the bones and teeth, enamel erosion, and may even contribute to an acidic oral environment. A study done by Dr. Weston A. Price looked into the oral health of indigenous people revealed the tribes that consumed little to no grains were more likely to have near perfect oral health.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits may be a healthier option to junk food when it comes to snacks, but many dried fruits – including prunes, raisins, and apricots – are sticky. Sticky foods tend to get stuck and cling to the teeth and their crevices, which leave behind plenty of sugar. A better and healthier alternative to eating dried fruits would be eating their fresh versions.

Sour Candies

Your dentist in Forth Worth may have long advised you that sugar in sweet candies is bad for your mouth. You should, however, also think twice before reaching for sour candies because they contain different acids that can damage your teeth. They are also chewy so they’re more likely to stick to the teeth for a longer time.

Potato Chips

An opened bag of potato chips

Who doesn’t like the satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately, potato chips are rich in starch, which often gets trapped in the teeth. Starch becomes sugar, which feeds the bacteria in the plaque. If you indulge in this snack, see to it you floss and remove all the food particles that can cause plaque buildup.

Given our modern diets, it may be difficult to steer clear of these snacks. Fortunately, you can still enjoy candies, coffee, and citrus fruits – you just have to do it in moderation. Aside from that, you should also support your oral health by going to a dentist regularly.

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