What are the Best and Worst Foods & Drinks for Your Teeth and Oral Health?

You might have heard the phrase ‘’You are what you eat’’, which is pretty accurate since your diet directly impacts your health. That’s even more true for your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.

When it comes to a healthy smile, brushing is essential. However, most people tend not to pay attention to their diet. Some foods, such as sugar-laden products, are teeth’s worst enemies as they create conditions for tooth decay.
Let’s delve into the best and worst foods for teeth so you can make smarter choices for your overall oral health.

RED LIGHT: The Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Sweets, Candy, and Other Sugary Foods

Sticky candies and sweets are a NO from the start. This includes lollipops, caramels, jelly beans, and hard candies that stay in your mouth for quite a while, making it harder for your saliva to wash away the sugar. If you love candy, choose those that clear out of your mouth quickly.
If you have a fondness for candy, pies, cookies, and other indulgent delights, it’s important to be aware that they can have detrimental effects on the health of your teeth and gums. These sugary treats have the potential to promote bacterial growth, ultimately resulting in tooth decay and gum disease.

Crisps and Snacks

Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth, such as soft bread and potato chips, can get trapped between your teeth. This causes the acid-producing bacteria responsible for attacking your teeth to increase, increasing your risk of tooth decay. The starch in crisps turns into sugar, which gets trapped in between your teeth, feeding plaque and bacteria. This ultimately leads to tooth decay. Moreover, saliva prevents food from getting stuck on your teeth, and crisps dry out your mouth. This prevents saliva from doing its job.

Carbonated Soft Drinks

The ultimate enemy of our teeth, fizzy drinks, are loaded with sugar- a single can of non-diet fizzy drinks can contain up to ten teaspoons of sugar-. These drinks, which are sadly the leading source of added sugar among kids and teens, cause the worst dental erosion.
Not only do they present a threat to our health, but also to our smile’s appearance. Some carbonated soft drinks can lead to staining and yellowing our teeth. Don’t think you’re safe with the diet ones, diet fizzy drinks have phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel. Weakened enamel is more susceptible to staining.


Although citrus fruits are good for your health, you should also know that when you eat or drink a lot of citrus, the acid can wear away the enamel of your teeth, which makes them more vulnerable to bacteria and cavities.
Moreover, erosion, which is the demineralization of the hard tooth surface, can lead to tooth decay. Repeated consumption of acidic foods can cause irritation and visible sores along the gum line.
You can try drinking juice with a straw to help some of the acids bypass your teeth.

Coffee & Tea

If you drink several cups of coffee and tea per day, there’s a chance your teeth will get stained, and you might be drying your mouth.
These drinks also serve as a helper for mouth bacteria, which create acids that result in enamel and tooth erosion, causing your teeth to become brittle and thin.
If you are a regular coffee and tea consumer, make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary add-ins as much as possible.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are acidic and sugary, which may lead to erosion and cavities. These drinks tend to be thick, which causes the liquid to stick to your teeth, giving the oral bacteria more acid, and making tooth decay highly possible. Furthermore, it is worth noting that these treats can also discolor your teeth as a result of the vibrant dye they contain.

GREEN LIGHT: The Best Foods for Your Teeth


Water washes the acid and sugars off your teeth, like your saliva. Water is always a good drink for your health in general. It’s actually the best one.

Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt stimulate saliva production, while also offering the benefits of calcium in cheese and phosphates in milk. These components aid in the replenishment of essential minerals in your teeth that may have been lost due to the consumption of other foods.

Green Tea

Dark teas contain tannins, which can cause stains, as stated above. Green tea, on the other hand, contains polyphenols that interact with the bacteria-induced plaque. The polyphenols kill or hold back the bacteria, and this prevents the growth or production of teeth-attacking acid.

Green, Leafy Vegetables

There are some leafy veggies, such as spinach, that require you to chew more, which produces more saliva. Saliva is basically your teeth’s natural lubricant, and its main task is ‘’washing’’ your teeth.

Tips for a Healthy Mouth

Check out some tips to help reduce the risk of tooth decay from the foods you eat and drink:

If you want to eat sugary or acidic foods, do it with meals. During meals, your mouth generates a greater amount of saliva, which aids in minimizing the impact of acid production and effectively washing away food particles from the oral cavity.

Drink more water to wash down acidic foods and beverages.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.

Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating. Brushing right after a meal or beverage can potentially harm your teeth because the acid present in your mouth softens the enamel. Brushing too soon can accelerate the occurrence of damage. It is recommended to wait a minimum of 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth.

If you want to learn more about dental hygiene and how your diet can affect it, feel free to reach out to ParkGlenn. Our team is here to assist you and answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’re more than happy to help!

Contact Parkglenn Dental for an appointment now at (303) 840-1900 or come visit us at 10371 Parkglenn Way Suite 250 Parker, CO 80138.

At our Parker dental office, our patients enjoy the most cutting-edge oral health care that is currently available.
We have been offering the most advanced dental services in Parker for many years! Parkglenn Dental is proud to offer a large variety of general and cosmetic dental treatments that will meet the needs of your entire family.

Contact us today

Parkglenn Dental