The 5 Best (and Worst) Foods for Your Teeth

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In order to survive, humans have to eat food. Certain foods, however, are better and healthier for your smile’s longevity, and some are worse. Curious about helping your smile stay healthy between checkups? Here’s our suggestions for the best and worst foods to eat.


  1. Dried fruits. While a healthy alternative to candy, snacking on these sticky bites can do more damage than good. They are high in sugar, and can be acidic. Try to brush and floss your teeth after eating dried fruits to ensure a healthy smile.
  2. Potato chips. Enjoying a salty snack with a sandwich is common, but be careful. Chips are high in carbs that feed cavity-causing bacteria. Plus, they can get lodged in the spaces between teeth and cause decay and other dental problems. Taking care to floss after your meal can help.
  3. Coffee. Unfortunately for the caffeine addicts out there, coffee (and energy drinks) are not a tooth’s best friend. Frequent coffee drinking can not only dry out your mouth and leave it a breeding ground for bacteria, but it can also stain your teeth. And sipping coffee can cause a lot of cavities if you also add sugar to your daily cuppa.
  4. Hard Candies. Hard candies are the perfect slow-release form of sugar. They provide cavity-causing bacteria with a steady food supply that lets them multiply and produce damaging acids. And sour candies are acidic to boot which erodes your enamel. And biting and chewing hard candies isn’t good, either–it can cause chipped or cracked teeth! The easiest way to avoid dental procedures? Brush your teeth often and try to not eat a plethora of candies.
  5. Citrus. Lemons, limes, and oranges can wear down your enamel over time, creating weak spots in your teeth for cavities. The juices are the worst. Always make sure to rinse with water after drinking citrus juices.


  1. Calcium-rich foods. Cheese and other dairy foods are beneficial for the health of your smile. A recent study published in General Dentistry stated that cheese helped reduce the risk of tooth decay by raising the overall pH of the mouth. Yogurt is good for your teeth as the probiotics that assist in digestion also help crowd out the bad bacteria. Be aware though: to help, your yogurt must be no-sugar added.
  2. Fruits and vegetables. For the most part, vegetables and fruit require a lot of chewing. Chewing help disturb dental plaque, and help cleanse your mouth of unhelpful bacteria. Choose crunchy options that  are lower in acid and sugar.
  3. Almonds. Nuts contain protein and minerals important for dental and overall health. Your teeth and bones will benefit from calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in almonds. In addition, nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities.
  4. Sugar-free gum. As mentioned earlier, chewing boosts saliva secretion and helps clear away bad bacteria and gum is one of the best ways to stimulate secretion. Plus, gum can trap bacteria and food from your teeth, leaving them cleaner. Ensure that it is sugar-free though! Xylitol in sugar-free gum is toxic to oral bacteria.
  5. Fluoridated water. Water is good for your body in general and your teeth are no exception.  Drinking water with fluoride is probably one of the best things you can do for your body, as fluoride helps teeth remain more resistant to cavity-causing acidic foods.

Concerned about your diet?

Have you fallen victim to some of the worst foods for your teeth? Are you concerned about the health of your smile? Talk to the experts at Harriman Family Dental in Orange County, NY today! Please call (845) 783-6466 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist.

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