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The Worst Foods for Your Teeth

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” But have you ever considered how it applies to your teeth?

Believe it or not, what you eat and how often play a significant role in the bacteria that form in your mouth. In fact, “acid attacks” can last up to 20 minutes after you sneak a sip of a sugary beverage and put your tooth enamel at risk. And if you sip all day long? Yikes!

That’s why Dr. Ana Chester and Dr. Jeff Morrison at Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, recommend watching your diet for items that can damage your teeth. While you know sugary drinks and snacks increase your risk for cavities, that’s only the beginning. Several foods can interfere with the health of your teeth and gums.

In this blog, we share an overview of some of the worst foods for your oral health.

Foods that put your oral health at risk

In an ideal world, everyone would consume a nutritious diet full of fiber, calcium, and fresh fruits and vegetables. In reality, many people’s diets contain items that put teeth and gums in jeopardy, including these top offenders.

Starchy foods

It’s hard to resist starchy items, like potato chips and bread. But these products are also notorious for getting stuck in the nooks and crannies in your teeth.

Brushing and flossing can help clear the debris, but you may not be able to remove all of the sticky particles. When left behind, they can lead to cavities.

Acidic items

Do you love lemons, oranges, and pickles? You could be putting your teeth at risk. These acidic items can break down your teeth’s protective enamel at a rapid rate. 

Don’t worry — you don’t have to say goodbye to them forever. However, our team recommends playing it safe and limiting how much you consume to avoid potential issues. 

Hard products

Pretzels may provide a satisfying crunch, but hard items increase your risk for cracking, chipping, or breaking a tooth. Hard candy is another culprit. Chewing on ice puts your enamel at risk, too.

It also takes longer to chew and dissolve hard foods, especially sticky candies, which gives them more time to hang around in your mouth and produce cavity-causing bacteria.

Carbonated drinks

There’s a lot to love about a fizzy beverage. Unfortunately, carbonated drinks also contain high levels of sugar and acids that can eat away your tooth enamel. 

If you want to protect your teeth for the long-haul, limit the soda and other carbonated beverages you consume. When you do indulge, use a straw to preserve your enamel.


Can’t start your day without a jolt of java? Coffee can cause a double-whammy for teeth. First, it dulls and stains. But that discoloration can also attract more bacteria and food particles, leading to a higher chance of cavities.

Our team can often improve the appearance of your teeth with a thorough cleaning. For stubborn stains, we can also offer teeth whitening services. However, if you drink a lot of coffee, those stains can return in no time.

For a brighter, healthier smile, try to drink more water and less coffee.


Sodas and coffee aren’t the only beverages you have to watch out for — alcohol can also cause oral health problems. However, the reasons might surprise you.

Drinking alcohol can dry out your mouth, reducing the amount of saliva you produce. This may not seem like a big deal, but saliva has an important oral health job; it flushes food particles from between your teeth. 

Some medications can also cause this issue. If you struggle with dry mouth, there are products that can help. Our team can explain your options and recommend the products that may be best for you. 

Keeping your teeth in peak condition

Following the perfect diet all the time can seem impossible. Fortunately, practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis goes a long way if you want to protect your smile.

But even with a healthy diet and fastidious oral hygiene habits, your best line of defense involves getting regular professional teeth cleanings at Chester Family Dentistry.

Approximately 178 million Americans have lost at least one tooth. Teeth cleanings can help avoid this problem by removing bacteria and plaque, along with its hardened form — tartar.

For most people, we recommend routine cleanings every six months and improving your diet to protect and preserve your oral health. However, we can offer personalized guidance on a case-by-case basis, depending on your unique needs.

Is your diet putting your oral health at risk? Contact Chester Family Dentistry to schedule an assessment and teeth cleaning today.

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