8 Foods to Avoid for Good Oral Health

The quickest way to ruin your teeth — short of some sort of accident! — Is to eat and drink the wrong things. What we eat and drink directly influences our oral health, increasing or decreasing the chance of many things like gum disease, cavities, and periodontal disease.

That’s because our food doesn’t just feed us; it feeds the bacteria in our bodies as well. In our mouths, this leads to the buildup of plaque and tartar. These bacteria-filled substances will start to damage our gums and teeth over time. From simple gingivitis to bone loss and increased risk of heart disease, what you put into your mouth can hurt more than just your waistline.

We’ve compiled a list of 8 foods you should avoid — or at least, keep in moderation — to protect your oral health. Some of these will be very familiar to most readers, but we think you’ll be surprised by a few of the entries.

Bad Foods For Teeth…

Sour Candies Are the Worst Candies

Everyone’s pretty familiar with the fact that sweets are bad for your teeth. But sour candies, in particular, are perhaps the worst of them all.

There are a few reasons for this:

• They contain lots of sugar, which feeds bacteria.
• They contain several kinds of acid, which weaken your teeth and make them more susceptible to problems.
• They’re chewy, so it’s easier for a piece to get stuck on your teeth and become a food source for bacteria.

Chocolate is a much better, sweet treat. It contains less acid and sugar, can be eaten faster and is easier to clean off the teeth after eating.

sour candy bad for teeth


Saliva breaks down the starch in bread into sugar. Sugar, as we know, is bacteria’s favorite food.

Much like with the sour candies, it also becomes a bit of a gummy, paste-like substance. This makes it particularly good at sticking around on your teeth and promoting cavities.

Whole wheat bread and other less-refined forms are better for your teeth than white bread. They don’t have the added sugars of processed bread, and they aren’t as easy to break down from starch into sugar.


Alcohol isn’t terribly healthy, to begin with, but it’s particularly bad on your teeth. There’s a combination of factors in play here.

Firstly, alcoholic mixers like cocktails contain plenty of sugars and acids.

Secondly, alcohol dries out your mouth. Saliva protects and restores teeth; a dry mouth lacks this protection and promotes bacterial growth. Since drinking alcohol makes you hungry, you’re likely eating something while drinking, creating a perfect environment for bad oral health.

Drink lots of water when you drink (which you should do anyway!) to keep your mouth hydrated.

Fizzy Drinks

The classic tooth-destroying drink had to appear on the list.

Large quantities of carbonated soda are about as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine or crack cocaine. You’re basically coating your teeth in acid, which makes it easier for bacteria to do harm in your mouth.

Even sugar-free sodas are bad for your teeth. What they lack in sugar they more than makeup for in acids.

You also get the same mouth-drying effects as with the alcohol listing above.

And while everyone knows red wine will stain your teeth, dark sodas like Cola will have much the same effect.

fizzy drinks bad for teeth


How can chewing water be bad for your teeth?

Unlike most things on this list, it’s not the ingredient that’s bad for you. Instead, the problem with ice is you’re chomping down on a relatively hard substance. This can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth if you’re not careful.

Wait for the ice to melt and drink it!

Citrus Fruits

Lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit — they’re all tasty in their own right or add a nice zest to a meal. But citrus acids are just as bad as any other type for your teeth. Even an innocent splash of lemon juice in your water is adding acids to your drink.

Keep citrus fruits and drinks to a minimum, and wash them down with water, so they don’t stick around.

citrus bad for teeth


Potatoes are one of those foods which might as well its own food group. As popular and delicious as they are, however, they’re loaded with starch.

Just like with bread, this starch gets transformed into tacky sugary goodness that sticks to your teeth. Whether it’s mashed, baked, or fried, potato is slowly but surely contributing to a bad oral environment.

Potato chips are particularly risky as the small particles they break into easily get trapped between teeth.

Wash the potato down with some water and don’t forget to floss.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits are a healthy snack, yes — but they can be just as harmful to your teeth as candy. They’re often higher in sugar than regular fruit due to the drying process, and they’re usually sticky. You end up with a sugar, sticky mess feeding bacteria and holding on to teeth for a long time.

Stick to the fresh stuff instead!


Our dentists in Nelson Bay are keen to help you stay on top of your oral health. Book an appointment with our team and get started on the journey to enjoying a healthy, beautiful smile for the rest of your life.