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Updated by Meagan Hollman on Oct 23, 2013
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8 Terrible Foods for Your Teeth

Your teeth are pretty tough. They have to be for all the wear you put them through on a daily basis. It’s no surprise then that there are foods out there that are downright terrible for your pearls. Here are eight foods a dental assistant, having been trained at a dental assisting college, will tell you to brush your teeth after consuming.

Soft drinks

Your teeth are made of enamel, which is very hard and very durable. Its only weakness is acid. Soft drinks—even diet—contain enamel-eroding acids such as phosphoric and citric. A dental assistant might suggest using straws when drinking sodas to keep the corrosive liquid away from your teeth as much as possible.

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Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

This includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Like soft drinks, citrus fruits are high in acid content and will carve craters in your teeth. Although these fruits are healthy, your dental assisting college graduate will tell you that your teeth require a vigorous brushing after eating.

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Sticky Sweets, Hard Candy and Sour Candy

Sticky Sweets, Hard Candy and Sour Candy

Sticky candy tenaciously clings to teeth and gets stuck between them. As with frostbite, it’s the long-term exposure that kills. Hard candies are especially villainous because they are made for long, leisurely sucking. Sour Patch Kids and Sour Gummy Worms get their Pucker Power through powdered acids.

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Fruit Juice

Fruit Juice

Fruits are naturally acidic, and then you add all that sugar which cavity causing bacteria loves. When bacteria are chowing down on sugar, they produce even more acid. Be especially careful when giving fruit juice to little kids, whose adolescent teeth are extremely soft and porous. Dental assisting colleges have slides upon slides of rotted teeth horror stories.

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Sports Drinks and Vitamin Waters

Sports Drinks and Vitamin Waters

You’re better off working out with water. Not only are they extremely acidic, sports drinks and vitamin waters can contain as much sugar as a candy bar.

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Chewable Multivitamins

Chewable Multivitamins

These little biddies contain a concentrated acid that likes to cling to and in between teeth. A dental assistant will tell you to try to get your vitamins through natural food sources.

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Dried Fruits

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are similar to caramels; they stick to teeth. They’re already naturally sweet. Then when they’re dried their sugar gets concentrated, and then they get dusted with even more sugar. Plus, they contain non-soluble cellulose fiber, which has a tendency to bind sugars to teeth. Basically, they’re worse than candy.

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Starchy Foods

Starchy Foods

This includes white bread, French fries, potato chips and pasta (al dente) that can get pushed down into the little crevices between your teeth. Starches convert to sugars almost immediately by your own pre-digestive, enzymatic saliva. Take a lesson from a dental assisting college: brush—and floss!—your teeth at least twice a day.