Tooth decay is a gradual dissolving of the tooth’s surface, aka the enamel, and then the degradation of the tooth itself. This occurs from plaque buildup and sugars that cause the bacteria in the mouth to release acids that eat into the tooth.

You can have pain, chewing problems, gum disease, and other issues. Although many factors can lead to tooth decay, what you eat plays a key role.

Here are the eleven most common foods that cause tooth decay.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol consumption isn’t generally healthy by any stretch. About tooth decay, alcohol dries out the mouth. A dry mouth does not have saliva, and saliva’s wetness protects our teeth. As you drink alcohol, the dryness means food is more likely to stick to your teeth, and tooth decay is more likely.

2. Soda

Soda is another beverage that can cause problems with the teeth. Any carbonated drinks are shown to damage teeth in some people as much as hard drugs.

They foster the perfect environment in which plaque can produce more acid. With every sip, you’re distributing acid directly onto your teeth. On top of that, sodas have a drying effect similar to alcohol.

Although you can enjoy your soda drinks, ensure you keep up with your dental hygiene routine. Visit a family dentist Mississauga for regular appointments. Also, brush your teeth after meals and drinking sodas, ensuring you minimize the chances of tooth decay.

3. Diet & Energy Drinks

Diet soda and drinks can be worse for tooth decay than their regular counterparts. Energy drinks also often behave similarly to soda. Anything carbonated or overly acidic is bad, especially when it’s a beverage. A liquid will cover the inside of the mouth easily and quickly. Energy drinks and diet sodas can do irreversible damage.

4. Sugary Cereal

Some people start their day with a bowl of sugary cereal. Numerous studies show how bad these cereals are for one’s health, and that’s true for one’s teeth.

The multiple teaspoons of added sugar may taste good, but the sugar will slowly erode the surface enamel. As the first meal of the day and the mouth adjusts to the body being awake, it’s advisable to start with something less acidic.

5. Citrus

Anything citrus is another source of acid. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes all count. The acid can be bothersome in several ways to the teeth, despite their high antioxidants and vitamin count.

If you enjoy citrus, you may still be able to partake in citrus drinks and whole fruits in moderation as long as you rinse with a glass of water afterward.

6. Sour Candies

Sour-covered candies contain high amounts of acid that are tough on the teeth. As you chew sour candies, you get these sugars and acids stuck and covered all over your teeth. The ingredients from sour candies are difficult to wash away and can be there for hours, gradually eating away at the enamel.

7. Dried Fruits

Although dried fruits are healthy to snack on, their chewiness means dried fruit is likely to get crammed into crevices in our teeth, leaving behind sugar to do what it does over our enamel.

While we wouldn’t recommend stopping eating dried fruits as they’re a healthy snack, rinsing the mouth with a glass of water during or after is smart. This will help move some of that sugar and those chewy pieces left behind off the teeth.

8. Ice

Ice gets onto this list because of the impact that chewing ice has. The ice itself is fine. However, chewing on the hardness of ice can damage and break apart enamel. This makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay.

Chewing ice can sometimes result in chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. This is fairly common in individuals already with teeth issues.

9. Bread & Baked Goods

As we chew bread, the saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. As it gets wet, the bread can stick to the crevices between the teeth, similar to how sour candies can get gummy and be caught covering the ridges of our teeth.

Refined bread and baked goods both have this effect. A better option is less-refined bread or whole wheat bread, known for not having as much added sugar.

10. Potato Chips

Potato chips behave similarly to bread. Chips have a lot of starch. The starch is converted into sugar by saliva, and then the mush in our mouth gets trapped on, between, and sometimes under our teeth.

Most people don’t often consider how messy chips are on the teeth. The most appropriate way to remove what gets caught around our teeth from foods like potato chips is to floss.

11. Sauces & Syrups

Sauces and syrups include pasta, marinades, ketchup, and similar foods. They make this list of foods that cause tooth decay because these sauces and syrups have added sugar and are often above average in their acidity.

Although there’s nothing wrong with a little, a lot can leave behind a coating of acid and sugar on the teeth. Protect your tooth enamel with a glass of water and a meal using these additions.