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What foods are bad for my teeth?

The saying “you are what you eat” is even more irritating when you realise how true it is. In terms of the health of your teeth, the health of your food choices is extremely apparent. Your dentist can very clearly see what you’ve been eating by the amount of plaque coating your teeth. After we eat a sugary snack, the sugars in that food or drink cause the enamel on your tooth to break down. If enough of the enamel has broken down, there is a big chance of a cavity forming. How can you avoid the likelihood of you developing a cavity? By avoiding the foods listed below. Some of them may be surprising!


  1. Bread

This entry may surprise some of you! When we chew bread, the saliva in your mouth breaks down the bread’s starch into sugar. Now the starch is a paste, this paste easily sticks to the crevices between your teeth. This means that cavities are likely to form. If you’re feeling the need to eat some carbs, your dentist will recommend you pick a less-refined bread like whole-wheat. This type of bread contains less sugars and aren’t broken down as easily.


  1. Alcohol

Many of us are already aware of the health risks to drinking alcohol, but it also doesn’t so much for the health of your teeth. Alcohol is known to dry out our mouths – a money making technique. You buy a drink, consume it, your mouth dries out very fast, so you buy another drink because you’re still thirsty. Although a great way for the alcohol companies to make a profit, it comes at a sacrifice of the health of your teeth. If your mouth is dry, this means that your mouth is lacking saliva. Saliva is crucial in keeping our teeth healthy, as it prevents food from sticking to our teeth and it washes away food particles.


  1. Citrus

Maybe the most surprising entry on this list, is citrus based fruits. Yes, fruit can be a bad choice! Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are all extremely tasty as fruits or juices and most of your body will thank you for choosing these over a traditionally unhealthy snack. However, these fruits are extremely high in acidity. Even just squeezing their juice into water to add flavour, transfers a lot of acid into your water. Again, this acid will break down the enamel on your teeth. Also, citrus fruits can be extremely bothersome to any hidden mouth sores – they won’t be hidden for too long!


  1. Carbonated drinks

This one will come to no surprise, as the majority of us are aware of the problems from drinking too many fizzy drinks. Even those that have the word “diet” in the title, will still cause a lot of harm to your teeth if over-consumed. In fact, a recent study in America actually confirmed that drinking a large amount of carbonated drinks does the same amount of damage to your teeth as using drugs such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine!

It’s the acid in the carbonated drinks which cause your dentist to wince. The acid attacks your tooth enamel, causing it to break down. By drinking constant fizzy drinks, you’re essentially coating your teeth in this damaging acid. But not only does it do damage to your teeth through the acid consumption, but darkly coloured sodas are very likely to stain your teeth. In general, it’s best to avoid these products or drink them in moderation.


If you’re interested in booking a consultation at Down House Dental, Steyning then give us a call on 01903 813212, or email us at

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