Do you want your teeth to last a lifetime? Here are five foods to be cautious of:
Sweet Sticky Foods
This category includes everything from caramel to more healthy options such as dried plums and raisins. In both cases, the sugars that stick to your teeth lead to plaque and create a breeding ground for tooth-eroding bacteria.
Unfortunately, the citric acid that gives these fruits their tangy bite can also damage the teeth. This is one case where you don't need to completely avoid this healthy and tasty food. Instead, wash the citrus down with plenty of water.
Surprised to see these on the list? Pickles are far from the usual sweet or crunchy culprits of tooth wear and tear. Unfortunately, the vinegar in them is another acid that, over time, can damage your teeth. Moderate snacking, however, is probably okay.
Salty, Crunchy Snacks
Sorry, movie theater lovers: this category includes everything from air-popped popcorn to indulgent kettle cooked potato chips. You've probably experienced a sliver of popcorn shell getting wedged between teeth. The same can happen with chips. In both cases, food trapped in the crevices around and between your teeth can lead to bacterial build-up.
Crunching on a mouthful of ice is a popular strategy to beat the summertime heat. It is also suggested by magazines and online diet gurus as a way to quell a sweet tooth and wean away from an ice cream addiction. However, you can chip and crack teeth when you chew on something as hard as a rock.
What Can You Do?
Some of these foods are fine in moderation. Others, like ice, really aren't meant for chewing on. Also, remember that clean teeth are healthy teeth. Dentists recommend drinking lots of water to flush food particles away, along with brushing after every meal. Is that too much? Try to brush and floss at least twice a day.