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In your youth, you might remember someone telling you to eat your fruits and vegetables to grow big and strong—and drink lots of milk so you get strong bones. Without a doubt, food plays a role in how our body grows and develops. But do you know the what kinds of foods that most frequently leads to tooth damage?

It probably won’t surprise you that hard candies make the list. But did you know that chewing on hard candy or ice could damage your teeth, potentially leaving you with a dental emergency?

Sticky foods can also be problematic. Your mind might have already gone to a favorite gummy treat, but dried fruits can also land in this category. The issue with them is they can stick to your teeth and can be difficult to remove. The sugar inside of the food could encourage bacteria to grow. After you’re done eating, you might want to rinse your mouth out well with water and then brush and floss well when you’re able.

Starchy foods can promote plaque growth. An alternative could be instead of eating a chip, you might reach for a carrot—you’ll still get a satisfying crunch, but not the plaque!

Beverages can’t escape blame either. Acidic foods can erode the enamel on your teeth. While many people enjoy putting lemon or lime juice in their water, citrus fruits are acidic and can also irritate mouth sores. Most sodas (including diet) are acidic. Sugar is the first ingredient listed in most sports drinks. An occasional cup is fine, but frequently drinking tea or coffee may stain your teeth. Additional additives could also pose a problem. Coffee can also leave your mouth dry, so be sure to drink lots of water. And lastly, alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

For more information, or if you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Behnam Y. Moghadasian, call us at 516-717-4729 or come by our office in Great Neck, New York. At Great Neck Dental Care, our dentist and team are happy to hear from you.