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The 7 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

I care about teeth a whole bunch. It’s a thing.

I’m happy to report that my kids have picked up my love of oral care; I mean, pretty much. So long as I keep a constant rotation of fun and fresh toothbrushes and remain heavily stocked in mouthwash and little rise cups, they’re all about getting their freshness on.

What they don’t however seem to care about are the foods that are bad for their teeth. I do care, not as much as our family dentist, but it’s something I think about when it comes to their diet.

Check out the common and yes, delicious foods we all eat that wreak havoc on our pearly whites – after the jump!

Soft drinks, sports drinks & energy drinks: Oh my! So far I’ve been able to limit my kids’ consumption of these beverages, but I won’t be able to forever. Did you know soft/sport/energy drinks are so high in acid that they literally strip minerals from tooth enamel? Not cool. Word to the toothy wise: if you choose to consume these beverages, drink through a straw to minimize contact with your gorgeous choppers.

Soft breads and potato chips: According to Yale Medical Group, these starches may taste great but they can often get stuck in teeth where bacteria feeds on these carbs; gross!

Sour candies: What kid doesn’t love sour goodness? Yahoo! Shine reports sour candies were found to be more damaging to tooth enamel than other candies. As an added deterrent, sour candy manufacturers add additional acids to pump up sour power which is really bad news for healthy smiles.

Fruit juices: Fruit juices high in acidity can wear down tooth enamel, so Yahoo! Shine recommends rinsing with water after consumption and choosing calcium fortified juice varieties to help minimize damage to tooth enamel.

Citrus fruits: While packed with loads of vitamins and minerals your body needs, the citric acids in lemons, limes, oranges, and even berries can be harmful to tooth enamel. But don’t skip the fruit! Eat them as part of a meal to minimize the risk of enamel erosion.

Alcohol: Did you know that alcohol dries out your mouth and can contribute to tooth decay? Remain hydrated while consuming alcohol and talk with your dentist about your particular fluoride needs.

Vinegar: Say it isn’t so! Vinegar is a delicious and low-cal way to add big flavor to meals. Again, due to the potential erosive properties to tooth enamel, consumers are encouraged to rinse after meals or snacks containing vinegar. An excess of vinegar in your diet can make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold and even give them a yellow appearance. Bummer.

Do you pay particular attention to oral care after consuming these foods?

Disclosure: I received products from Johnson & Johnson as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Kids Cavity-Free School Year Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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