They say you are what you eat. But hopefully that doesn’t fully apply when talking about the worst types of food for your oral health. While many of us are generally aware of foods that are unhealthy for our bodies, we are usually blind to the types of foods that are specifically unhealthy for our oral health. Just because a food may be nutritious, that does not mean it isn’t harmful to your teeth. At Smiles By Dr. Santos, we are always looking to help your smile be at the best it can be. Whether that is just a routine checkup, or something more cosmetic, your oral health is important to us. Here we will take a look at some of the worst foods for your teeth, and hopefully help you avoid any unnecessary dental work because of it.

Sour Candies

While it’s generally not a shock that candy is bad for your mouth, sour candy is so much worse. Yes, sour candy has an immense amount of sugar in it, but it also contains different (mainly artificial) types of acids that are extremely tough on your teeth. If the sour candy is some type of gummy, it’s even worse because it can stick to your teeth and pull of anytype of crown or enamel. It’s also more likely to stick to your teeth, which then leads to tooth decay. If you’re craving sweets, we suggest a square of chocolate instead. Or any type of candy that you can chew easily and that can be washed away with water or any other type of liquid.


Once again, we are all aware that alcohol isn’t the best for our bodies in general, but when you drink alcohol you dry out your mouth. A dry mouth lacks saliva which is something we need to keep our teeth and mouths healthy. Saliva helps prevent food from sticking to your teeth, and also helps wash away any extra food particles that may be lingering. It can also help repair tooth decay, gym disease, and other oral infections. This includes alcohol that may be in mouth washes. Either continue to keep yourself extra hydrated or reach for a mouthwash without alcohol.


Ice, being just purely water, shouldn’t be unhealthy to consume right? Well, when it comes to chewing ice, think again. According to the American Dental Association, chewing on a hard substance (like ice) can make you more susceptible to dental emergencies relating to chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. It can also loosen any previous work you’ve had down, such as enamel and crowns. While you can use ice to chill your beverages, try not to crack down on it. Your teeth will thank you later, we promise.

Citrus Fruits

We love oranges, grapefruits, and lemons because they are packed with vitamin C and other vitamins. However, we do not love them as dentists because of their high acidity content. The acid from citrus fruits can erode enamel extremely fast, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. The acid from citrus fruits can also bother any cuts or sores you may have in your mouth, so be mindful of that. We’re not telling you to give up your favorite fruits, but eat them in moderation and wash your mouth with water after to help break up the acid.

Potato Chips

Sadly potato chips are loaded with starch, which then becomes sugar once broken down. The crunch we all love an associate with chips is ultimately the worst for our teeth since the particles can get stuck in between our teeth, turn to sugar, and then be a source of food for plaque. We recommend flossing after any chip consumption, this way you can still enjoy your favorite chips and take care of your teeth.

White Bread

Hopefully you’re not eating white bread, and reaching for a healthier whole grain option, but if you are, be wary of the effects it can have on your teeth.  Bread has a tendency to stick to the crevices of your mouth and on the insides of your teeth, which invites bad bacteria to invade your mouth. After chewing, the enzymes are also then converted into sugar making white bread even worse for you.

At Smiles by Dr. Santos in Manahawkin, we understand that you may not be perfect in your oral health. That’s why we are here! Schedule an appointment with us today and let us get you on the road to your dream smile. We’re here for all your dental needs.