Symptoms, conditions and causes

What's the worst food for my teeth?

Our diet plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, including the health of our teeth and gums. Certain foods can lead to tooth enamel erosion, causing dental problems such as cavities, decay, and sensitivity.

Here are some of the worst foods you should avoid for your teeth:

• Diet soda

• Candy

• Powdered starches

• Liquid sugar containing high-fructose corn syrup

• Soda with phosphoric acid

• Gummy bears and caramels

But out of all these, the worst food for your teeth is not sugar but citric acid!

Citric acid is a common ingredient in many processed foods and drinks, including fruit juices, diet sodas, and even some toothpaste. Despite being found naturally in fruits like lemons and limes, the citric acid used in processed products is often synthetically made. Citric acid is a powerful calcium chelator, which means it binds with calcium and pulls it out of teeth. This can lead to erosion and demineralization of teeth, causing them to weaken and become more susceptible to cavities.

The pH of citric acid is also a contributing factor. While the ideal pH in the mouth is slightly above 7 (neutral or slightly alkaline), citric acid has a lower pH of around 3 to 6, making it even more damaging. The worst type of citric acid for teeth is trisodium citrate, also known as sodium citrate. It's commonly found in many processed products and is a major contributor to tooth erosion.

So what can you do to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of citric acid?

• Rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything

• Check labels carefully and opt for products without synthetic citric acid

• Use toothpaste that does not contain citric acid, or make your own at home using natural ingredients

Last updated: Apr 29, 2024 16:02 PM