Which Foods Can Cause Tooth Decay?

Posted on: May 16, 2018

Eating the occasional piece of candy or downing a soda every now and then will not cause considerable tooth decay. However, the frequent consumption of such sugary foods and beverages will lead to tooth decay in due time. This decay occurs when acid generates in the mouth after bacteria break down sugar. Acid dissolves the surface of the tooth and causes subsequent decay.

Examples of Sugary Beverages and Foods Detrimental to Oral Health

There is a common misconception that natural sugars in fruit, milk and honey are not harmful to the teeth. In reality, such natural sugar really does harm tooth health. Even natural sugar in apricots, raisins, dates and other dried fruits causes tooth decay. Artificial sugars are also added to foods to improve taste.

Unfortunately, such sugar is terrible for oral health. Food manufacturers commonly add sugar to their products, making them processed as opposed to natural. Examples of such sugar-laden processed foods include syrups, cereal bars, chocolate, cake, jams, candy, marinades, pasta sauces and ketchup. Food with an abundance of carbohydrates such as potato chips, crackers, soda, fruit juices, crackers and peanut butter are also harmful to oral health.

Yet those who clean their teeth within an hour or so of consuming such foods are less likely to endure tooth decay. This is not to say you should immediately clean your teeth after snacking or eating a meal. Wait at least 20 minutes before brushing so you do not damage your sensitive tooth enamel.

Avoid Chewy and Sticky Foods

Foods that stick to the teeth will remain attached for an extensive period of time. Food debris stuck on the teeth serves as an energy source for bacteria that leads to the excess formation of acid. Do not let sticky food remain on your teeth for any longer than half an hour. Floss and brush your teeth after consuming such foods to minimize the chances of tooth decay.

Refined Carbohydrates and Starchy Foods Spur Tooth Decay

Starchy foods like pasta, potato chips and white bread will move between the teeth and cause decay. So do not assume such foods are harmless just because they are not rife with sugar. The truth is the consumption of such foods causes them to transform into sugar and stick to the mouth.

Citrus Fruits and Sour Candy Pose a Direct Threat to Tooth Health

Sour candy is terrible for the teeth as it is loaded with diverse acids. Even if you brush your teeth after consuming sour candy, it will not eliminate the threat as quick brushing following the consumption of highly acidic food/beverages damages tooth enamel. Citrus fruits are also a problem.

While these fruits have Vitamin C, they also have a considerable amount of acid that decays and wears away at tooth enamel. This does not mean you have to cut out all citrus fruit. Opt for oranges as they are the least acidic. Alternatively, lemon and grapefruit are highly acidic and that much more likely to cause tooth decay.

For more dental health information or to schedule an appointment with Robert Daddio D.D.S. & Associates, request an appointment in our Palm Desert dental office here: https://robertdaddiodds.com. Or call us at (760) 394-3088.


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