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We’ve all gotten warnings from dentists that too much sugar will rot away our teeth, but what truly are the worst foods for dental health? Here are just a few of the foods you’ll want to avoid to save your pearly whites.

worst food for teeth

Citrus
While there are plenty of health benefits to eating citrus, too much of it is definitely not a benefit for your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juice are the worst, as their high acid content eats away at tooth enamel. If you are going to eat citrus fruit, go for oranges, as they are the least acidic. Fortified orange juice even includes calcium and vitamin D, which can help improve your teeth.

Sticky Candy
Sugar is never great for your dental health, but sticky or chewy candy is the worst. Taffy and caramel are tough to get completely off your teeth, so they stick around in our mouths, where a bacteria feeds off the sugar.

Hard Candy
They may not be as difficult to get out of your teeth, but we tend to eat hard candies by letting them slowly dissolve on our tongues. This means the bacteria in your mouth have several minutes to use that sugar to produce acid, much longer than a candy you chew and swallow. Extremely hard candy like jawbreakers can also chip your teeth if you bite down too hard.

Pickles
The extremely high acid content of pickles makes them very unhealthy for your teeth. Eating them more than once a day can increase your risk of dental damage by over 80 percent. Fortunately, most people don’t down on pickles on a regular basis, but if you’re someone who does, you’ll want to reconsider how often you eat them as a snack.

Soda
Soda is just loaded with sugar, which increases the chance of cavities, but the acid found in soda is even more damaging. This means that diet sodas aren’t any better for your teeth than the regular varieties. Drinking a soda with a meal can help to neutralize the acid, and drinking it through a straw gives it less access to your mouth, but overall, this is a beverage to avoid.

Regular brushing and flossing go a long way toward keeping your smile gorgeous, but you can do more than that. Stay from highly acidic foods and find an affordable dentist in Salt Lake. Your teeth will thank you later!