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When thinking of foods that are harmful to your teeth, there are a few obvious culprits that come to mind: candy, soda, chocolate, and other sweet treats. However, it is not always so easy to pick out the foods that could be harming your teeth. Don’t believe us? Here are five shocking foods and beverages that could be wreaking havoc on your dental enamel.

1. Juice

While juice is commonly thought to be a healthy beverage, it can actually be quite harmful to your oral health. In fact, studies have shown that children who sip juice throughout the day are more likely to have tooth decay. This is because the high sugar content in juice provides ample food for harmful bacteria, ultimately leading them to release acids onto the dental enamel and cause cavities. Therefore, water or milk is considered a much better alternative to maintain your oral health.

2. Raisins and Other Dried Fruits

Yes, even fruit can be harmful to your teeth—particularly sticky dried fruits like raisins. All fruits contain sugars, but dried fruits in particular tend to stick to your teeth. This allows them plenty of time to release sugars onto your teeth, which will be consumed by the harmful bacteria in your mouth and lead to cavities.

3. Crackers

Crackers can be surprisingly bad for your teeth. For starters, the carbohydrates in these snacks break down into sugars, which are harmful to your dental enamel in their own right. However, they also can become quite sticky when they come in contact with saliva. This causes them to get stuck in your teeth and feed the bacteria in your mouth for longer periods, ultimately leading to decay.

4. Ice

Water is great for your oral health, so ice must be too, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Chewing on ice can be actually cause some serious damage. It can lead to broken teeth, chipped teeth, or even loosened restorations like crowns and fillings. Therefore, it is best to simply use ice to cool your beverages, as opposed to a snack.

5. Bread

When people think of foods being harmful to your teeth, they usually think to sugary treats as opposed to foods packed with carbohydrates. However, bread can also be surprisingly bad for your dental enamel. When your saliva breaks down the starches in your bread, it transforms them into a sugary, paste-like substance. This sticks in the hard-to-reach crevices in your teeth and ultimately leads to cavities. Therefore, if you’d like to eat carbs, try eating whole wheat and other less-processed varieties that contain fewer added sugars.

Concerned that you may have a cavity as a result of any of these foods or beverages? Don’t worry—Downtown Dental can help! Call our office in the Loop or River North to schedule your next routine check-up to ensure you’re in good oral health.