You know the foods that are bad for your teeth — items like soda and candy that include excessive sugar, beverages that stain your teeth like coffee and black tea — but you might be surprised that some seemingly healthy foods are also bad for your teeth.
1. Salad Dressing
Salads full of lettuce and other healthy ingredients are good for us, but what about what we put on top? Many salad dressings contain vinegar — a trigger of tooth decay, as well as added sugars for additional flavor. Lettuce has been shown to fight the negative effects of vinegar, but a salad dressing with high levels of vinegar in it should be avoided. Be sure to check your dressings contents for sugar, too, as you might be surprised by how much is included.
Bread is a staple in many people’s diets, and, while you may not taste it, many types of bread contain sugar. With bread having a tendency to get stuck between teeth after chewing, it can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. Check the sugar content on bread labels and avoid processed white breads where possible as they generally contain the most sugar.
This seemingly harmless addition to your drink can actually cause great damage to your teeth. If you have a habit of crunching on ice, be aware that this can easily cause your teeth to crack or even break. Leave ice to keeping your drinks cool and, if you can’t resist the temptation to bite down, stick to refrigerated drinks.
4. Pasta Sauce
From pizzas to spaghetti, many favorite meals aren’t complete without pasta sauce. Unfortunately, tooth enamel is especially susceptible to damage from dark colors like those of your favorite red pasta sauces and the acid in tomatoes also can damage teeth by making them more porous. You don’t have to forgo the sauce, though. Simply drinking plenty of water and swishing it around in your mouth while you eat can help eliminate much of the problem.
Ever notice how often popcorn pieces can get wedged in between your teeth? Any time food gets trapped here it can lead to bacterial growth – and popcorn has a nasty tendency to get stuck in these crevices. You may want to limit your popcorn intake and especially avoid chewing any kernels as they can easily break or chip teeth.
You can still enjoy all of the foods you love, but keep it in moderation and always be mindful of food labels.