5 Foods that Cause Tooth Decay

The foods you eat can have a serious impact on your teeth. Make sure your chompers stay healthy by avoiding these decay-inducers

For strong and healthy looking teeth, avoid these dental-damaging foods

Sugary foods or drinks are well known to cause tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth digest sugar, producing a mild acid that attacks tooth enamel.

What’s more, different foods can produce different kinds of assaults on your teeth.

Drinking water after eating sugary foods helps dilute the acid. Note: Don’t brush your teeth right after eating acidic foods (e.g., citrus fruits) as this can actually cause more damage as the enamel has been softened by the acid. However, using floss to dislodge pieces of food stuck between teeth can be beneficial.

Credit: Len Radin

Hard Candy

Sucking on hard candies is especially harmful as they dissolve slowly, prolonging the length of time acids are in the mouth.

Credit: dreyboblue

Sticky Foods

Sticky candies (e.g., gummy bears, toffee) and dried fruits stick to teeth, preventing saliva from getting to the tooth to neutralize the effect of the acid on the enamel. Chewy candies can also pull out fillings and crowns.

Credit: Chugy

Acidic Fruits

Prolonged exposure to acidic fruits like lemons can demineralize teeth.

Juices and Sports Drinks

Fruit juices, sports drinks, and regular and sugar-free soft drinks are highly acidic in themselves.

Credit: Zamber


Popcorn produces lactic acid in the mouth. When bits of popcorn get stuck between teeth they can cause acidic hot spots that can be damaging to teeth. It’s also easy to crack a tooth on an unpopped popcorn kernel.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.