>We all enjoy eating a variety of foods, but did you know some of your favorite foods may be secretly destroying your teeth? Foods high in sugar promote bacterial growth which can contribute to cavities and gum disease. Also foods high in acid can eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth. While you don’t have to avoid your favorite foods if they are on this list, you need to be aware that some of them can cause damage to your teeth if you don’t keep up with at home oral hygiene and regular dental checkups.

  1. Apples: An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and apples are a healthy choice for a snack, but the high sugar and acid content can put your teeth at risk. If you enjoy an apple simply rinse your mouth out with water after eat it to cleanse your mouth of the sugars and acid.
  2. Popcorn: Who doesn’t enjoy a nice big tub of popcorn when they go to the movies? But popcorn is high in carbs which convert to natural sugars which promote bacterial growth. The popcorn kernels themselves can get lodged in your gums and when you pull them out the gap may leave room for bacteria to invade.
  3. Diet Soda: While you may think diet soda is a safe choice because it has no sugar, the acid in diet soda can wreak havoc on the enamel of your teeth. The artificial sweeteners still promote bacterial growth which can promote tooth decay. Instead of diet sodas try naturally flavored fizzy waters. These are a great alternative and contain no sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  4. Peanut Butter: A staple in many pantries peanut butter is packed with sugars. A good alternative is all natural almond butter which contains almost no sugars and tastes great.
  5. Pickles: The vinegar and brine in dill pickles can wear away at the enamel on your teeth, and the sugars found in sweet pickles contribute to bacterial growth. Enjoy pickles in moderation and rinse your mouth with water after you eat them.
  6. Wine: Red and white wine contain tannins which can stain your teeth. Limit your glasses of wine to one or two per week to prevent discoloration of your teeth.
  7. Coffee: Coffee can also stain your teeth if drank in excess. Limit your coffee intake to one or two cups a day and follow your cup of coffee with a glass of clear water.
  8. Tea: While tea contains less caffeine that coffee, strong teas such as black tea can stain your teeth. Opt for herbal or light teas to avoid damage to your teeth.
  9. Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce can darken your teeth, and the high acid content in the sauce contributes to the erosion of the enamel on your teeth.
  10. Berries and Beets: Both foods are packed with nutrients, but they also can stain your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after you eat them to prevent staining.

While there is no reason to totally cut out your favorite foods, it is good to know that some of them may pose potential problems for your oral health. Try to eat these foods in moderation and keep up with brushing and flossing daily. Rinse your mouth with clear water after you eat or drink something with a high sugar or acid content to clear your mouth. Regular dental checkups are also a hedge against tooth decay and keeping your smile bright and white. By keeping up with your at home dental care, and seeing your dentist for your regular checkups, you can keep your teeth healthy and your smile looking great.