Could This Healthy Treat Hurt Teeth?

Could This Healthy Treat Hurt Teeth?

Posted by Dr. Thomas Flavin Jan 21,2022

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While certain foods help to keep your teeth healthy, there are certain foods that are bad for your teeth. Listed below are some of these foods.


Enjoying a sweet treat every now and then is okay, but you should avoid sticky candies that are more difficult to remove from your teeth. Sticky sweets like caramel and taffy stick to the surfaces of your teeth and promote tooth decay by sitting in your mouth for hours at a time. Additionally, sour candies are acidic and can erode your enamel over time as you continue to eat them. Sour treats include gummies and hard candy that is sucked on for long periods of time, such as lollipops.

If you eat sweet treats frequently, make sure you brush your teeth well afterward to brush away any lingering sugars or acids. Also, drink water after snacking to help rinse the sugars and acid out of your mouth. For an extra boost of cleaning power, chew sugar-free gum with xylitol after eating a treat to help remove decay-promoting particles and bacteria.

To prevent cavities, limit the number of sweet snacks you eat and how often you snack throughout the day. Instead, try to eat small meals that include a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources. 

Starchy Foods

Starches, such as potato chips and pretzels, are one of the most common causes of tooth decay. While they may be tasty, they can quickly break down into simple sugars that feed the bacteria that cause cavities. When we consume starches, they break down into glucose in the mouth. This then feeds bacteria in your mouth, leading to the production of acid. The acid can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause decay over time.

If you do eat starchy foods, try to rinse your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth as soon as possible. If you cannot brush after eating, chew a piece of sugar-free gum to help remove food particles from your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate saliva production, which can neutralize acids in our mouths and rinse away cavity-causing bacteria.

If you are concerned about your eating habits and how they may be affecting your oral health, talk to your dentist about what you can do to keep your teeth healthy in between appointments. You should also make sure you visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning so that we can look out for any signs of tooth or gum disease and treat it early before it affects your smile.

Sticky Foods

It can be difficult to avoid sticky foods, but you shouldn’t consume them too often. Sticky foods are often high in sugar and provide fuel for the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. Some foods that fall into this category include caramels, gummy candy, dried fruit, and lollipops. The longer these foods stay stuck to the teeth, the higher the risk of developing tooth decay becomes. For the healthiest smile possible, avoid eating these types of foods whenever possible. If you do choose to consume them anyway, remember to brush well afterward and rinse your mouth out with water to remove any additional residue from the mouth.

To learn more, contact Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis at 4224 Watson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63109, or call (314) 832-1366. 

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