Teeth are responsible for breaking down and digesting food, helping you to absorb nutrients and fuel your body. Unfortunately, not all foods are kind to your teeth. Some foods are harder on teeth than others because they contain sugars or acids that could erode enamel over time.

Common examples of these teeth-damaging foods and beverages include sugary, hard, and acidic ones like candy, soft drinks, and citrus fruits. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, foods bad for your teeth include sugary drinks, candy, ice cream, chips, and crackers. These foods contain high levels of sugar or starch, which can cause cavities and tooth decay. In this blog post, you learn the worst foods for your teeth.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Sugary foods and drinks are bad for your teeth for many reasons. First, the high sugar content of these foods and beverages provides a perfect medium for the growth of damaging bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria then produce acids that can wear away the tooth enamel, causing cavities and tooth decay.

Additionally, sugary foods and drinks can make it more difficult to control the bacteria present in your mouth, as they encourage you to keep coming back for more. Finally, these sugary substances can also lead to bacterial infections or gum disease if they are left in contact with teeth for too long. Examples of sugary foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth are:

  • Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are bad for your teeth because they contain high acid levels. This acid can break down the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities and decay. Additionally, carbonated drinks are often high in sugar, leading to tooth decay. The combination of acid and sugar can be particularly damaging to teeth and is one of the main reasons dentists recommend limiting sugary drinks.

Acidic Foods

It is known that acidic foods can be bad for our teeth, but why is that exactly? It turns out that teeth are covered in a hard outer shell called enamel. This protective layer helps to keep our teeth healthy and free from decay. However, the enamel can be slowly worn away when consuming acidic foods. This process is known as demineralization, and it can leave teeth vulnerable to cavities and other problems. Below are acidic foods that are harsh to teeth:

  • Sour Candies

Sour candies are one of the most popular types of candies that are available in the market. These candies contain citric acid which is an organic acid and helps in producing a sour taste. The citric acid present in these candies can cause erosion and wear away the tooth enamel. In addition to this, it can also cause cavities and teeth sensitivity.

Sour candies may be great for a quick sugar fix, but they are certainly not good for your teeth. These candies are notorious for wreaking havoc on teeth. Their acidic and sugary nature make them damaging to teeth, as they can erode tooth enamel and contribute to the formation of cavities. Additionally, these candies usually contain a high concentration of sugar and food coloring, both of which can cause damage to teeth by initiating bacterial growth and contributing to plaque build-up.

The pH scale is from 0 to 14. 7 is the neutral point and acidic substances are below 7 while alkaline substances are those above 7 to 14. Water has a pH level of 7, battery acid has a pH level of 1, and most sour candies have a pH of 5.5.

Add the high acidic content of the sour candies with their chewy nature, and you thus expose your teeth to an acidic level over an extended period, thus causing enamel erosion. Some of the symptoms you will likely experience include:

  • Sensitive teeth. If you have experienced tooth pain when you consume hot, cold, or sweet foods, you have sensitive teeth, and tooth erosion is the likely cause.
  • Transparency. teeth transparency is evident at the teeth' edges.
  • Cavities. When the enamel is eroded, the inner parts of your teeth will be exposed and appear as dents. This will require dental fillings.
  • Tooth decay. Decay is the end-stage of tooth cavities. At this point, you could lose your tooth. Your dentist will best advise you on the ideal approach.

 To conclude, sour candies are not good for your teeth as they have high levels of citric acid that can erode tooth enamel and increase sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are generally considered healthy, nutritious foods that can provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals. However, many people do not realize that these fruits can also cause serious damage to teeth if eaten in excess. This is because citrus fruits tend to be highly acidic, and the acidity wears down tooth enamel over time.

Additionally, the juice from these fruits can seep into cracks in teeth and lead to painful cavities or other dental problems. Despite their many health benefits, citrus fruits should be consumed in moderation when protecting your teeth. So next time you're craving a glass of orange juice or a wedge of orange, think twice before indulging! Remember that being mindful of your teeth will help you keep them healthy for years to come.

Starchy Foods

You might not immediately think of teeth when you think of starchy foods. But the fact is that starchy foods can be bad for your teeth in several ways. First, many starchy foods are high in sugar, promoting the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Second, starchy foods tend to be sticky, sticking to your teeth and contributing to plaque formation. Finally, starchy foods are often acidic, eroding tooth enamel and leading to decay.

Potato Chips

Just about everyone loves potato chips. They're salty and crunchy and go great with everything. But as delicious as potato chips may be, they're not exactly good for your teeth. The harsh reality is that potato chips are among the worst offenders of teeth-destroying snacks.

The problem with potato chips is twofold. First, they're incredibly sticky. This means that they tend to cling to your teeth, leading to plaque build-up and an increased risk of cavities. Second, potato chips are loaded with sugar. And as we all know, sugar is terrible for teeth. It leads to tooth decay and can even discolor your teeth over time.

Crunchy and Hard Foods

Teeth are among the most important and delicate parts of the body, and it is crucial to take good care of them. While some people may think that hard, crunchy foods are harmless, they can damage teeth. These foods put a lot of stress on the teeth, causing them to crack and break down over time. Additionally, chewing on hard foods can cause tiny micro-fractures that allow harmful bacteria to infiltrate deeper into teeth.

Ultimately, eating crunchy, hard foods can damage at a micro level that, over time, leads to gum disease and cavities. For this reason, it is essential to use caution when choosing what to eat and choosing which oral health habits to practice. To protect your teeth and keep them healthy for years, stick with softer, more nutritious foods and avoid crunchy or abrasive treats.


Many people are familiar with the feeling of teeth chattering from the cold. But have you ever wondered why ice is so bad for your teeth? It turns out that teeth are susceptible to temperature changes. When you eat something cold, like ice cream or a frozen popsicle, the temperature of your teeth drops quickly. This can cause the teeth to contract and become brittle. Over time, this can lead to cracks in the teeth. In addition, cold food can also numb areas of your mouth, making it difficult to eat or drink normally. As a result, it's best to avoid eating ice cubes to keep your teeth healthy.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are often touted as a healthy snack option, but they can be bad for your teeth. The main problem with dried fruits is that they are very sticky. The sticky particles cling to your teeth and gums when you eat dried fruits. Over time, these particles can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, dried fruits are often high in sugar. The sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, producing acid that can damage teeth. So, while dried fruits may be a healthy option for your diet, they are not so great for your teeth. Brush and floss them afterward to remove any sticky residue if you eat them.

Chewy, Sticky Foods

Chewy, sticky foods can be bad for your teeth for many reasons. For one thing, these types of foods can stick to the teeth and the surface of the gums, creating an ideal environment for plaque and bacterial growth. Additionally, these foods are challenging to remove from teeth once they have accumulated, and they can cause damage over time by breaking down tooth enamel and increasing sensitivity. It is best to limit your intake of chewy, sticky foods to protect your teeth and keep them healthy. By being mindful about what you eat and taking care of your teeth through regular brushing and flossing, you can minimize the risks associated with these types of foods. After all, a healthy smile is important for aesthetic reasons and overall health and well-being!


Bread is a staple food in many cultures, but it's not the best for your teeth. When you eat bread, the starch in the bread breaks down into sugar. The sugar then attaches to your teeth and provides food for the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce acid, which can break down the enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities. In addition, bread is often made with refined flour, which lacks whole grain flour's nutrients. As a result, eating bread can contribute to tooth decay and poor oral health.

Tobacco products

Tobacco is bad for your teeth for many reasons. First, tobacco is often highly acidic, which can cause tooth decay over time. Additionally, cigarette smoke contains various harmful chemicals that can wear down teeth and contribute to gum disease. Furthermore, sugars and food particles are often caught in between teeth after smoking, encouraging the growth of plaque and other unwanted bacteria. Ultimately, the best way to protect your teeth from the negative effects of tobacco is to quit smoking or using other types of tobacco products altogether. By doing so, you can safeguard your oral health and improve the overall quality of your teeth and gums.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol is often thought of as a harmless indulgence, but it can significantly impact your teeth. When you drink alcohol, the sugar in the drink creates acids that can damage your teeth. The acid wears away at the enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, and over time this can lead to tooth decay and cavities. In addition, alcohol can cause dry mouth, which decreases saliva production. Saliva is important for keeping your mouth clean by washing away food and bacteria, so a decrease in saliva can increase cavities. Alcohol can also stain your teeth, giving them a yellow or brown tint. So next time you reach for a drink, remember that it could be harming your teeth.

Table Sugar and Sweeteners

As mentioned above, sugar is an enemy of your oral health. Therefore, table sugar and artificial sweeteners are among the worst foods for your teeth. While sugar naturally occurs in foods like fruits, the levels are lower than in table sugar and artificial sweeteners like high fructose syrup. Natural sugar sources also contain protective compounds like fibers and minerals. Combined, all the foods stimulate salivary flow in the mouth, which goes a long way in protecting your teeth and gums. Credible studies have shown a correlation between dental decay and consumption of artificial sugars, especially in kids.  To avoid compromising your oral health, you want to eliminate artificial sugars from your diet. 

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are the most popular drinks in the world. They are also some of the worst for your teeth. The tannins in these drinks make them highly acidic. Coffee contains two acids, which are citric and malic acid. This acidity can lead to tooth erosion and sensitivity, which is a major cause of tooth decay. Also, these beverages cause teeth discoloration. If you pay close attention to coffee and tea lovers, you will notice the yellowing of their teeth. Prolonged tea and coffee consumption discolors your teeth.

The acid erodes your enamel. Erosion is a process where tooth enamel is worn away. This can happen because the acid from coffee or tea dissolves it, or because the plaque on teeth reacts with sugar in these beverages to produce acid that erodes enamel. The more often you drink coffee and tea, the more likely it is that they will erode your teeth. The worst thing about this is that it can be hard to notice until it’s too late.

Breath Mints

Breath mints are popular to have on us. They make us feel fresh and clean. But, did you know that they can destroy your teeth? Most people don’t know about this, so here are some ways that breath mints can destroy your teeth:

When we chew on a breath mint, our saliva is not enough to break down the sugar in the mint. Sugar is an acid and will weaken your tooth enamel.

If a person has a dry mouth or if they are diabetic, they will be more likely to suffer from cavities because their saliva won’t be able to protect their teeth as well as it would normally do.

Breath mints can leave behind stains on your teeth. This can lead to yellowing of the tooth surface and eventually.

Sports Drinks

It is a common misconception that drinking sports drinks can keep your breath fresh. The truth is, they destroy your teeth. Sports drinks are full of sugar and acids that can lead to tooth decay and erosion. Drinking them regularly can also harm the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities.

If you are looking for energy boosters, consider alternatives with zero sugar and acids. Consult widely before settling on one. People should drink water instead of sports drinks when they exercise because it will be less harmful to their teeth and body overall.

Find a Dental Clinic Near Me

So, what are the worst foods for your teeth? Avoid sugary foods and drinks, acidic foods, starchy foods, crunchy, hard foods, chewy, sticky foods, and tobacco products. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list - any food that is high in sugar or acid can be harmful to your teeth. If you are looking for dental treatment and advice on bad foods to avoid in Hawthorne, please contact Ganji dental today. We would be happy to help you maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile! Call us today at 310-643-8045.