Five surprising foods and drinks that could ruin your smile

The average person eats a varied diet that includes many foods that could harm their teeth. Some of these foods are high in sugar and therefore cause cavities; others contain pigments that can stain our teeth. However, it’s not always to easy to know which foods are bad for you and which foods are good. So in this post, we’ll try to clear up the confusion by discussing five surprising foods and drinks that could damage your teeth.

Starchy foods

Believe it or not, starchy foods, such as bread, crackers and crisps, can be as bad for your teeth as sweets. That’s because starchy foods are carbohydrates that break down into sugars. The bacteria in your mouth then feed on these sugars and produce acid, which in turn causes tooth decay. To avoid tooth decay, we recommend brushing your teeth regularly to remove any traces of food from your mouth. It’s also worth flossing once a day to dislodge any food that gets stuck between your teeth.


Bad news for coffee-lovers: your morning Americano can discolour your teeth. Specifically, there are pigments in coffee that stain enamel (which is the outer layer of your teeth). In fact, coffee is one of the most common causes of teeth stains and what’s more, the stains can be very difficult to remove. We recommend visiting your dentist regularly for a scale and polish to remove any stubborn stains. And to avoid coffee stains in the first place, we recommend limiting your coffee intake to one cup per day.

Red wine

Coffee isn’t the only thing that will stain your teeth. Many other foods and drinks cause stains too, and red wine is one of them. This is because red wine contains strong staining pigments called ‘chromogens’. Chromogens give the wine its characteristic red colour and are also responsible for leaving stains on your teeth. To avoid red stains, we recommend drinking red wine in moderation and visiting your dentist regularly for a scale and polish.

Fruit juice

People often think that fruit juice is healthy, but in reality it isn’t. This is because fruit juice contains a large amount of sugar that can cause cavities. It’s much better to eat fruit whole instead. If you do drink fruit juice, limit it to meal times and don’t drink more than 150 ml of fruit juice per day. Another tip is to dilute your fruit juice with water to reduce the harm it does to your teeth.

Dried fruit

Dried fruit shares similarities with fruit juice –  many people assume it’s healthy but it’s actually bad for your teeth. This is because the concentration of sugar in dried fruit is very high – much higher than in whole fruit, because the water content is lower. In fact, eating dried fruit is almost the equivalent of eating sweets! Even worse, the sugar in dried fruit is particularly sticky. This means that when you eat dried fruit, it often sticks to your teeth and can eventually cause cavities. So ditch the raisins and eat whole fruit instead. The sugars in whole fruit aren’t as concentrated or as sticky as in dried fruit, making it a much healthier alternative.

Leave a reply