Food And Drinks To Avoid For Healthier Teeth

What we eat and drink can have a considerable impact on our teeth and gums

fast dental careThere are many things that we do which can affect our teeth and gums. Keeping them in good health is important and this is why we emphasise the necessity of good preventative care. Brushing, flossing and professional dental interventions are all necessary for a healthy mouth, but there is another factor that we sometimes ignore at our peril, and that is what we eat and drink.

Although sugar is a known harmful ingredient for our teeth, it is not the only one. We have compiled a list below, of some of the more harmful products that you can consume. We don’t expect patients of our Ipswich dental clinic to cut these out entirely, but being aware will help you to at least reduce your consumption significantly.

Here then is a list of some of the things you should avoid or at least reduce your consumption of.


This one probably goes without saying. Most sweets have a very high sugar content which we know is very harmful for our teeth. The amount of sugar is not the only issue though. If you really feel that you need to eat something sweet and sugary, make sure that it is something that you can chew and swallow quickly. This at least ensures that your saliva can start to wash away the sugar quite quickly. Suckable sweets will remain in your mouth much longer and supply the bacteria in your mouth with a food supply for much longer too, thereby  increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Soda and sports drinks

Although these drinks often contain large amounts of sugar, patients of the Foxhall Dental Practice should also be concerned about the often high level of acidic ingredients in them. As these drinks often pass over the teeth when being drunk, this acidity can soon wear away the tooth enamel. When this happens, tooth sensitivity is likely to be a problem and also eventual tooth decay. Although dental veneers can be used to restore teeth with enamel that has been damaged in this way, prevention is a far better solution and eliminating or cutting down on these drinks will help.

Dried fruits (and gummy bears!)

Dried fruits such as dates or raisins are often seen as a healthy alternative to eating sweets. This is true but they are still high in sugar. Whether this is natural sugar or not, it can still cause tooth decay. Dried fruits also stick to the teeth and can be difficult to remove. This is one reason why parents are discouraged from giving them to young children. If you do eat dried fruits, make sure that you floss between your teeth well before you go to bed.

Fruit juices

Fruit juices are another product that most of our Ipswich patients would expect to be healthy, and it is true that they are high in some vitamins. Like sodas though, they are very acidic, as is any citric fruit that you consume. As with sodas etc, if you must drink these, do so with a straw to avoid the liquid coming into contact with your tooth enamel as much as possible. Remember though, that still water is your best friend when it comes to your oral health and hydration.


Alcohol often contains sugar but the real threat from it comes from the fact that it can dry out the mouth and, especially overnight, having a dry mouth is one of the key factors that can lead to gum disease. Make sure to drink plenty of water before you go to bed. Accidents are also more likely if you have consumed too much alcohol and collisions or falls that damage teeth are far from unusual.

Tea and coffee

Aside from any sugar that might be in these drinks, they are also often responsible for staining of the teeth. Many products do this of course and it is worth looking up a list of them. Tea and coffee are widely consumed though and reducing your intake may help to keep your teeth whiter for longer. If you have already suffered this effect, our Ipswich cosmetic dentist team can help you restore your whiteness with a teeth whitening procedure or porcelain veneers. It is also worth remembering that some store bought coffees, especially ‘specials’ may well contain very large quantities of sugar.

Fizzy water

Although these mostly won’t contain sugar, they can still damage your teeth. In order to produce the ‘fizz’, many of these drinks have carbonic acid added to them. As mentioned before, this acidity can damage the enamel of your teeth and lead to erosion. Sticking to still water is much better for your teeth.

A word about chewing gum

Finally, we come to chewing gum. While these often contain sugar and are bad for your teeth; using a sugar free chewing gum may actually have a beneficial effect as it can help to remove food debris and bacteria from less accessible parts of your teeth and gums. Whilst this isn’t a substitute for floss, it can help to prevent gum disease with its associated unpleasant symptoms like bad breath and potential tooth loss.

We hope that this article has helped you to look at your eating habits anew. Even small changes can make a big difference to your oral health. Remember too, to see the dentist at the Foxhall Dental Practice every six months for your regular check up. Appointments can be made by calling us on 01473 258396.