The five worst foods or drinks for teeth

Not all foods are created equal – especially when it comes to our teeth.

Food and drinks come in a variety of textures, temperatures, and degrees of softness. Some foods that are particular tasty may not be the best items to be placing into our mouths. Even some foods that may seem harmless or even particularly healthy may not be what the doctor (or in this case, dentist) ordered when it comes to your oral health.

Here are just five of the foods that you should consume sparingly or not at all if you have tooth or gum issues. Or, if do eat them frequently, don’t expect to get a guaranteed good grade at the dentist’s office your next visit.

5. Black tea

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, many of your friends may recommend you cut down on your caffeine intake. If you scoff, the next recommendation is typically to switch to tea. It has a similar effect but with less caffeine, after all.

However, black tea is highly acidic – and one of the worst teeth stainers. Also, compared with coffee, you’re much less likely to find black teas offered with cream, which can deter against the assault on your poor enamel.

4. Dried apricot

Dried fruit is delicious, portable, and last longer than fresh fruit. Plus, all those vitamins make it a popular trail mix addition and desk drawer mainstay.

Unfortunately, drying out a sugary fruit such as apricot can have damaging effects on your teeth when you try and eat it. The chewiness can loosen teeth and rip out crowns, leaving a sugary residue that will be sure to hurt your teeth and gums.

3. Soft drinks

As if being partly blamed for the obesity epidemic weren’t hard enough, soft drinks are also linked to cavities and other tooth maladies. The acidity of the carbonation combined with the sugary syrups make soft drinks a dangerous combination on your teeth.

2. Hard candy

Crunch! Despite our intention to suck on hard candy until it disappears, many of us ultimately bite into hard candy – with our teeth left to suffer the consequences. When you also account for all the sugars in hard candy, it becomes that much less of an appetizing snack for your teeth.

1. Sugared gum

Think about it: There is a food out there are is smothered with sugars and chemicals that forces you to chew on it. Endlessly. And there are a dozen or more to a pack. Simply put, sugared gum wears down your teeth and leaves a harmful layer of sugar to go with it.

These are just five of the worst foods for teeth – there are many more. If you’re a regular eater of any of them, make an appointment at or call us at (708) 460-3040 and get a cleaning and check-up soon!