You know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but you might not realize that acidic foods and beverages can be equally harmful. If you want to prevent enamel erosion and protect your teeth from harm, here are a few acidic foods you should try to avoid.


While candy is generally considered bad for your teeth because of all the sugar it contains, not all candy has a high level of acidity. What you want to watch out for is sour candy, and especially gummy sours. These are the very worst kind of candy because they feature chewy, sticky substances that cling to teeth and linger in the mouth, promoting bacterial growth and plaque formation, and they also have high levels of acid that attack and erode enamel, paving the way for infection.


Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit may be great for your health, providing ample fiber and vitamins, but these citrus fruits aren’t so good for your teeth. The citric acid they contain can leach away calcium and erode enamel, opening the door to tooth decay and gum disease. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep eating them, but you should avoid sucking on citrus fruits and always clean teeth thoroughly to rinse away harmful acid after the fact.


Although tomatoes don’t fall into the citrus fruit family, these juicy fruits are fairly acidic. Whether you add them to salads, pan fry them, or turn them into pasta sauce, these sweet treats can definitely do a doozy on your enamel. The best solution to enjoy tomatoes is to eat them with a meal rather than in between, so that you’re more likely to brush, floss, and rinse afterward.


Vinegar can be hard on your teeth to begin with, but when you pair it with sweet cucumbers, the combination can be even more detrimental to your teeth. If you want to protect your enamel, limit your pickle consumption to sandwiches rather than snacking on them day and night.


If you’ve seen a dentist in the last 20 years, you’ve no doubt heard about the ills of drinking soda, especially where your oral health is concerned. These popular beverages not only contain incredible amounts of sugar (an 8-oz. can of soda has well above the daily allowance of sugar for the average adult), but they also feature acids, food dyes, and other chemicals that can be harmful to your teeth and your overall health. If you cut just one item from your diet in order to protect your oral health, soft drinks are at the top of the list.

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