Which Foods Cause Tooth Decay

Two side by side gingerbread houses covered in sugary candies with a lit Christmas tree in the background

One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay is to stick to a healthy diet, avoiding foods that actually contribute to tooth decay. In this post, we’ll let you know which foods to watch out for to protect your smile.

Sugary Foods

You’ve heard it before: sugar has the power to rot your teeth. When you consume sugar-filled foods, you’re actually feeding some of the harmful bacteria that hang around in your mouth. The bacteria then create acids that go after the tooth enamel, creating holes or cavities.

Starchy Foods

Carb-filled foods, like bread, are not a great choice for your oral health. When you eat carbs, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugars. As we just explained, sugars fuel the plaque bacteria in your mouth that breaks down the enamel and causes cavities.


While it does fall under the category of sugary foods, candies pose more specific dangers to the teeth. Chewy candies, like gummies, are tough to remove from the teeth, and are more likely to stick around and contribute to decay. Sour candies contain dangerous acids that are even stronger than those produced by plaque bacteria alone. And finally, hard candies can result in a broken tooth, so steer clear.

Citrus Fruits

Although fruit is healthy, it does contain sugar. We’re not suggesting you eliminate fruit entirely, but it’s important to watch your intake, and brush your teeth after eating. This is especially true with citrus fruits. The high acid content contained in citrus fruits poses a threat to your tooth enamel, since it has the power to erode it. Again, don’t avoid citruses entirely but be sure to rinse with water after eating, and brush as soon as possible.

Fight Cavities with Our Help

We know that it’s very difficult to say no to sugary and starchy foods all of the time, especially during holidays and special occasions. If you do indulge, be sure to take extra care to clean your teeth. Healthy eating is a huge part of fighting decay, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle! It’s just as important that you see your dentist every six months for a bi-annual cleaning and exam. Don’t have your next visit scheduled? Give us a call, or request a visit online anytime.

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