Mind Your Bite: 7 Foods to Avoid for a Healthier Smile

While regular visits to your family dentist are key for overall oral health and a Healthier Smile, what you do between visits writes your family's dental report card. Proper brushing and flossing, however, can only get you so far. By practicing proper nutrition, you can take your dental hygiene a step further. To keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, and avoid a dental emergency, moderate your consumption of the following foods and drinks. 

1. Citrus
While grapefruits, lemons, and oranges are vitamin C superheroes, they can be villains for your teeth if over-consumed. Citrus fruits are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel. Eat and drink these fruity friends in moderation to keep your teeth's protective layer strong.

2. Coffee
While you do not have to give up your precious morning cup of joe, avoid drinking coffee all day long. Not only is it acidic in nature, but it also can stain your teeth. Choose pearly whites over pearly yellows by sipping with caution. When you do pour yourself a cup, also avoid adding too much sugar.

3. Soda
Soft drinks are a road to tooth decay, containing an excess of sugar and acid. Sipping on soda also dries our your mouth, so if you choose to occasionally enjoy a fizzy beverage, chase it with plenty of water throughout the day.


4. Sticky and Chewy Foods
Snacks such as dried fruit and chewy candy can get stuck between your teeth. If this residue is left behind when brushing, the sugars will sit and potentially cause cavities.

5. Hard Candy
These sugary treats put you and your family at risk for a visit to an emergency dentist. By biting down on a hard piece of candy, you risk breaking a tooth. The slow-dissolving nature of the candy is also a threat to dental health, as it gives bacteria time to hang out on the sugar now spread around your mouth.

6. Alcohol
Overall health risks aside, the main threat that excess alcohol consumption poses to your teeth is dehydration. Over time, this frequent dehydration could reduce saliva flow.

7. Crackers
Crackers and similar snacks are refined carbohydrates, which rapidly convert to sugar. When chewed, they also lodge between your teeth, potentially causing cavities.

During your next checkup, which half of adults schedule every six months, speak with your dentist about how nutrition could impact your dental health. Depending on your specific health needs, consuming specific foods and beverages in moderation could save you time, money, and emergency dentist visits.