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Top Foods to Avoid for Better Oral Health

Did you know that certain foods can worsen the health of your teeth and gums? In fact, there are some foods you may want to skip altogether if you have recurring dental problems, like staining, cavities, or tooth sensitivity. Here are some foods to avoid (or enjoy less often) for better oral health.


If you’re trying to improve your teeth and gums, you may want to steer clear of the following food and beverages.

1. Coffee

We know, we know. It’s hard to start the day without a cup of coffee. But did you know that coffee can stain your teeth? If you can’t give up your morning cup of joe, brush your teeth afterward so they stay pearly-white!

2. Wine

Like coffee, wine can also stain your teeth — particularly red wine. If you enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after your meal.

3. Sugary snacks

We all love a sweet treat now and then, but sugary snacks can contribute to tooth decay. If you must indulge, be sure to brush your teeth right afterward — and don’t forget to floss!

5. Acidic Beverages

Soft drinks, sports drinks, and even fruit juices can be acidic and erode the enamel on your teeth over time. Without a healthy layer of enamel, your teeth will be prone to staining, cracking, chipping, pain, and sensitivity. If you drink something acidic, you can prevent enamel erosion by brushing or rinsing your mouth with water afterward.

6. Tobacco

While not technically a food, tobacco is a substance you can consume. Tobacco use is also one of the leading causes of gum disease. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting is the best thing you can do for your oral health.

7. Foods With Dyes

Many foods and drinks contain dyes. While these colors can make your food beautiful, they can also discolor your teeth. After consuming food or drinks with dyes, rinse your mouth or brush your teeth to reduce staining.

8. Crunchy Foods

If your teeth are already fragile, you’ll want to avoid particularly hard and crunchy foods like chips and pretzels. Biting down too hard on these foods can cause further damage. They can also get stuck between your teeth, leading to cavities. After eating these foods, always floss nightly to eliminate any lingering food particles.

9. Sticky foods

Sticky foods like candy canes and caramels can stick to your teeth and eventually cause cavities. Make sure to floss thoroughly after enjoying these types of sweets.

10. Ice

Chewing on ice can damage your tooth enamel. If your tooth enamel is already compromised, continuing to chew ice can increase the damage. If you enjoy eating ice but have fragile teeth, stopping is the wisest thing to do.


In addition to avoiding the foods on this list, you can do a few other things to help improve and maintain your oral health.

  1. Brush and floss daily: Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

  2. Visit your dentist regularly: See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

  3. Quit tobacco: As we mentioned before, tobacco use is one of the leading causes of gum disease. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting can help your oral health.

  4. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet is good for your overall and oral health. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

  5. Drink plenty of water: Drinking lots of water helps keep your mouth hydrated and can help rinse away food particles that can contribute to tooth decay.

Following these tips can help enhance your oral health and keep your smile looking its best.

Sterling Dental Center offers a wide range of dental services, including general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. We use the latest technology to provide our patients with the best possible care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.