Put down that bowl of microwave popcorn! Jonathan Neman, DDS, a dentist from New York City, says that “countless numbers of people come in with cracked teeth from eating half-popped popcorn kernels, not to mention the sneaky husk. Popcorn husk is notorious for finding its way in between teeth and causing gum pain too.”
2. Dried fruit
As tasty as those dried apricots are and no matter how much you love that fiber boost from some dried prunes, dried fruit is a disaster for teeth. Dr. Neman explains that “not only are the sugars concentrated, but they are very sticky and sit into the grooves of your molars causing cavities.”
3. Sweet Coffee Drinks
Those Venti cups with extra pumps of the sweet stuff are your worst dental nightmare. “Constant exposure to the milk and sugar over the course of an hour or more make it difficult for the salvia to combat against the sugars and acids produced by the bacteria in our mouths,” Dr. Newman says. Saliva protects our teeth, and with the constant sugar attacks from mouthfuls of sugary drinks, over time the salivary glands fail to keep up.
Forget those leftover pumpkin seeds if you like to keep your teeth in good shape. The majority of seeds need to be cracked open with our front teeth, which could eventually chip them.
5. Hot Lemon Water
If you’ve heard that hot lemon water is a great replacement for your morning coffee. Think twice because dentists agree that it’s bad for your enamel. Raha Sepehrara, DDS, says that “repetitive and frequent exposure to acidic drinks or foods can dissolve the enamel of the teeth, exposing the inner layer of the teeth called dentine, which is yellower than enamel and also very sensitive.”
6. Chocolate-Covered Raisins
These may be everyone’s favorite movie snack, but they’re far from healthy. It’s surprising, but the raisins are more harmful than the chocolate – their sugar content is higher and they get stuck in the grooves of your teeth. The chocolate is just fuel to the fire!
7. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
These two ingredients are laced with added sugar. Add in the stickiness and you’ve got the perfect recipe for cavities. Therefore, if you like this treat, it’s best if you look for peanut butter and jellies with no added sugars and drink lots of water. If possible, brush or chew some xylitol gum afterward to make sure all of the sticky sugar has been removed from your teeth.
If you think canned fruit is healthy because it has “fruit” in the name, think again. This fruit is often coated in sugar and packaged in syrup – two ingredients that will harm your teeth.
9. BBQ Meats
Sorry if we’ve ruined your next BBQ, but those sticky red sauces that make everything delicious are just cavities waiting to happen. “Barbecued meats, like spare ribs, are some of the worst foods for teeth because of the caramelized sugars used in the sauce,” explains Frederick Baker, DDS. To add to this, there’s the potential of cracking your teeth on the parts of the meat that have been over-caramelized.