Your Dentist Cries Every Time You Eat These 15 Things

Even if you practice perfect dental hygiene, your favorite foods could actually be destroying your mouth. Brushing twice daily might not be enough to stand up against certain foods that your dentist wishes you’d just avoid altogether.

Some enamel-destroying and cavity-causing foods may completely surprise you. Here is a list of 15 foods you should try to avoid — and your dentist will thank you.

1. Ice

glass of cola with ice cubes and a straw

Leave that leftover ice in your glass. | iStock/Getty Images

Are you someone who chews your ice once you finish a cold drink? Next time, you should definitely resist the urge. According to Jon Marashi, DDS, “Ice is simply too hard for tooth enamel and causes stress fractures in the teeth. It can even break a piece of your tooth.”

Next: These might give you a boost of energy — but your dentist hates them.

2. Energy drinks

An attractive athletic man drinking an energy drink

These drinks do nothing for you. |  iStock.com

You might temporarily get a boost of motivation from energy drinks, but they aren’t worth the negative impact on your teeth and overall health. Dr. Marashi advises against them, explaining, “Energy drinks are super acidic, and they have low pH and high sugar content. I’ve seen a rise in amounts of decay among college students who consume this in excess to stay up all night, whether studying or partying.”

He also added, “It coats all the teeth and therefore affects all of them equally. You’ll end up with a mouth full of cavities!”

Next: Opt for a different movie theater snack.

3. Chocolate-covered raisins

A bowl with chocolate coated raisins

This may seem like a healthier candy option, but Rasinets are not your mouth’s friend. | Esdelval/Getty Images

The next time you’re at the movies and you’re choosing between chocolate-covered raisins and a plain chocolate option, your dentist would prefer that you go with the latter. “Raisinets are the devil!,” Dr. Marashi claims.

“It’s surprising, but chocolate alone is less harmful than raisins. The sugar content is higher and the sticky aspect of raisins get stuck in the groves of your teeth. The chocolate is just kerosene for the fire!”

Next: This benefits pretty much everything but your teeth.

4. Hot lemon water

Hot water with lemon and honey

Seems healthy, right? | iStock.com/villagemoon

Hot lemon water may provide endless benefits to your health, but the acidity makes it terrible for your teeth. Raha Sepehrara, DDS, told Metro UK, “Tooth wear is caused by the acidity of the lemon which erodes the enamel of the teeth.”

She adds, “Repetitive and frequent exposure to acidic drinks or foods can dissolve the enamel of the teeth, exposing the inner layer of the teeth called dentine, which is yellower than enamel and also very sensitive.”

Next: We aren’t surprised these are bad for your teeth.

5. Gummy candies

candy gummy worms

These candies should are a no go. | jenifoto/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re a fan of gummy candies, it may be time to cut them out of your diet. Lawrence Fung, DDS, told Reader’s Digest why your dentist would advise avoiding gummies for good.

“They are terrible for your teeth since they stick to all areas of the tooth and the longer the contact the sweets have with the teeth, the more acid gets produced by cavity-causing bacteria,” he attests.

Next: Is the gum pain really worth it?

6. Popcorn

Man eating popcorn and watching movie in cinema

Next time you see a film, skip the popcorn. | Image Source/Getty Image

We all know that horrible feeling of getting a piece of popcorn stuck in your gums — and it’s no surprise that your dentist hates it just as much as you do. New York City dentist Jonathan Neman, DDS, told Reader’s Digest, “Countless number of people come in with cracked teeth from eating half-popped popcorn kernels, not to mention the sneaky husk.”

He added, “Popcorn husk is notorious for finding its way in between teeth and causing gum pain, too.”

Next: This might be a healthy alternative for snacking, but your teeth won’t thank you.

7. Dried fruit

Dried fruits

The concentrated sugar is bad for your teeth. | iStock.com/Juanmonino

Dried fruit may be a healthy alternative for snacking, but unfortunately, it’s not so good for your teeth. Dr. Neman also told Reader’s Digest, “Not only are the sugars concentrated, but they are very sticky and sit into the grooves of your molars causing cavities.”

Next: This might be tough to kick from your routine.

8. Sweet coffees

starbucks iced coffee

Stick to regular coffee instead. | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

If you can’t help indulging in a sweet coffee drink a few times a week like us, this one may upset you. Dr. Neman claims, “Constant exposure to the milk and sugar over the course of an hour or more make it difficult for the saliva to combat against the sugars and acids produced by the bacteria in our mouths.”

He continued, “Saliva is the great protector of our teeth, and with the constant sugar attacks from taking sips of sugary drinks, over time the salivary glands fail to keep up.”

Next: Be careful with how you’re eating these.

9. Seeds

pumpkin seeds in a glass bowl

Seeds are healthy, but can hurt your teeth. | Furo Felix/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you’re going to eat seeds, make an effort to do so carefully. Dr. Neman explains, “Many seeds require cracking them open with our front teeth, easily causing chipping of the edges of our front teeth.”

Next: This food may come as a surprise.

10. Barbecued meat

A steak of Argentine beef is put on the grill

The caramelized sugars will hurt your teeth health. | MIGUEL MENDEZ/AFP/Getty Images

This one may come as a surprise, but even barbecued meats can deliver a death sentence to your teeth. Frederick Baker, DDS, explains, “Barbecued meats, like spare ribs, are some of the worst foods for teeth because of the caramelized sugars used in the sauce.”

He also noted, “You have the potential to crack your teeth on parts of the meat that may have over-caramelized, and the extra sugar is never good.”

Next: Choose a less crunchy option to snack on.

11. Granola bars

Chocolate Muesli Bars on wooden background

These handy snacks are not as healthy as they look. | iStock.com/HandmadePictures

Granola bars may be a quick (and sometimes healthy) breakfast or snack, but your dentist would prefer you go with a less crunchy option. Dr. Baker told Reader’s Digest, “They have a good amount of sugar which is not good for teeth.”

He continued, “Some brands also coat their granola bars with additional sugars for crunch, so it’s two-fold, where you have the potential to break teeth as well as break down enamels with sugars.”   

Next: Hydrate with water instead of these.

12. Sports drinks

sportsman drinking an energy drink

Stick with water instead. | GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

The next time you exercise, you should probably just hydrate with water instead of opting for a sports drink. Krysta Manning, DMD, MBA, told Reader’s Digest, “Athletic drinks were created to re-hydrate athletes and replenish lost nutrients and electrolytes.”

“However, these health benefits often come with a heavy dose of sugars,” she explained. “Liquid sugars are notorious for causing cavities in hard to reach places and are even more detrimental when introduced into a dry oral environment.”

Next: This seems like an innocent lunch option, but it could be detrimental to your teeth.

13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, PBJ

This sandwich isn’t as innocent as you think. | iStock/Getty Images

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich might seem like an innocent lunch option, but depending on the ingredients between your two slices, it could be detrimental to your teeth. Dr. Manning explained, “Each of the two ingredients is often laced with added sugar. Add in the sticky texture and you’ve got a perfect recipe for cavities.”

She continued, “If you’re going to enjoy this treat, I recommend looking for peanut butters and jellies with no added sugar and drinking lots of water. If possible, brush or chew a xylitol gum afterward to make sure all of the sticky sugar is removed from your teeth.”

Next: This ‘healthy’ food is basically candy.

14. Canned fruit

canned peaches in a bowl on wooden table


Still with the fresh variety instead. | iStock.com/nitrub

If you’re going to eat fruit, always go for the fresh selection in the produce aisle instead of canned fruit. “While fruit is typically considered a healthy option,” Dr. Manning explained, “fruit in a can is often surprisingly unhealthy. If it’s packaged in syrup and coated in sugar, these options become just one step removed from candy.”

Next: This one is sad, but true.

15. Seltzer water

seltzer waterbottle and two glasses on the table in an open air cafe or restaurant

This favorite is still hard on your teeth. | Jasmina976/Getty Images

Seltzer water is a perfect alternative to soda, except for its one downside: It’s terrible for your teeth. According to findings from a study, Reader’s Digest explained, “Exposure to carbonated waters, like seltzer, can be as damaging for teeth enamel as orange juice.”

Read more: Surprising Secrets Your Dentist Won’t Tell You

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