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Foods and Drinks That Cause Cavities

Unhealthy eating habits could be the root cause of your dental problems. The foods and drinks we consume have a direct impact on our oral health, to say nothing of our overall health. In short, Healthy foods equal a healthy mouth. Read on to learn which foods and beverages may cause cavities and other oral health problems to develop.

If you are experiencing dental problems, it may be time to schedule a visit to the dentist. At Smiles 4 Grant Park, Dr. Abbey J. Lee offers compassionate, thorough dental care to restore the health of your smile. Contact our team today at 404-328-7177 to schedule a routine cleaning and exam.

It can be tempting to grab everything that looks or smells appealing when we’re shopping. Those cookies, coffee creamers, fresh-baked bread, and soft drinks can have a negative effect on the health of our smile.

Here are good examples of foods and drinks that should be avoided:

Sugary Products

Most of us understand that sugary foods and drinks cause cavities, but we may not understand how. Cavities are caused by acids that are released from bad bacteria that feed on sugars. We should all remember to drink water after consuming foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Brushing your teeth afterward can also aid in removing lingering sugar.

Refined sugars are especially dangerous when it comes to preventing cavities. Red flags should include: golden syrup, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, coconut sugar, and caramel due to the fact that these products often contain high levels of refined sugar. Sugary products that should be avoided include:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Barbeque sauce, ketchup, and mustard
  • Deli meats
  • Granola
  • Sodas
  • Coffee creamer
  • Fruit juice

Acidic Items

Foods with a low pH balance can be particularly damaging to teeth because the food products are known to weaken and erode enamel. Teeth that lack a healthy enamel are more susceptible to cavities, decay, and tooth sensitivity.

Foods and beverages that contain a high amount of acid include:

  • Pickles
  • Lemons
  • Tomatoes
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee


Foods high in starch contain refined carbohydrates that turn into sugar soon after entering the mouth. This transformation begins the acid-production process that can lead to tooth decay. Some starchy foods to avoid include:

  • Pasta
  • White bread
  • Potato chips
  • White rice
  • Sodas

Consider whole-wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, and water as healthy alternatives.

Sticky or Chewy Foods

Sour candy, caramels, and taffy are typically high in sugar and easily stick between your teeth. Anytime sugary substances become stuck between teeth, plaque and tartar will build, which can lead to cavities. To avoid damaging your teeth, try not to eat too many sweets at once. If you do, brush and floss afterward.

Hard Foods

Even though the enamel on your teeth is the hardest part of your body, it can be damaged, and your teeth can chip as the result of eating seemingly harmless foods like ice cream. One alternative to cold or hard sweets is sugarless gum.

Improve Your Oral Health Today

To kickstart your journey toward better oral health, schedule a routine dental cleaning and exam with Dr. Lee. During your appointment, she can discuss with you other ways to improve your smile and which items you should add to your grocery list. Call our Grant Park office today at 404-328-7177.

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