Healthy Snacks that are Surprisingly Bad for your Teeth

Eating healthier is a goal many of us have, but there are a number of foods that, while good for our bodies, are terrible for our teeth.Here are some foods that are surprisingly harmful to your oral health (along with some tips to help minimize damage).

Citrus Fruit
Oranges and Grapefruits are supposed to be some of the healthiest fruits out there; they’re packed with Vitamin C and make for a great well-rounded snack. On the flip side, they’re also chock full of acid which results in the harmful demineralization of your enamel. The same applies to lemons (even more so when you add sugar [like with lemonade] into the equation). The key is to minimize direct and long term contact citrus fruits have with your teeth. Eat oranges, grapefruits, and other citruses sparingly, and if you’re a big fan of adding lemon to your beverages, try to use a straw as often as possible.

Almonds are packed with vitamin E and healthy fats that are great for your body, but no so much for your teeth. Almonds can be difficult to chew as they break or splinter in your mouth (potentially causing your teeth to crack or fracture). Chew very carefully and don’t exert too much pressure when snacking on whole almonds. If you can, opt for sliced almonds instead (which are considerably kinder to your teeth).

Apple Juice/Apples
Apples are another fruit that are surprisingly acidic (and therefore very hard on your teeth). Make sure to have a glass of water (sparkling or flat) on hand to swirl around your mouth in between bites or just after finishing the whole thing. It’s also a good idea to brush your teeth after eating apples (or any of the above mentioned citrus fruits), but you should wait at least half an hour after your done eating or else you can actually worsen the potential acidic damage to your enamel.

Dried Fruits
Dried fruits can make for a great portable snack, but they’re also a perfect breeding ground for cavities. Dried fruit has had all the water removed, so the fruit that remains is full of sugar that will stick in between and to the surface of your teeth. Just like with apples, it’s a good idea to take sips of water in between snacking and to thoroughly brush and floss at least twenty minutes or so after you’re done.

Peanut Butter
Many of us have been in the uncomfortable situation where the peanut butter in your PB&J sandwich has gotten stuck to the roof of your mouth. It’s for this sticky reason that peanut butter is such a danger to your dental health (and increases your chances of developing a cavity). Try to buy peanut butter brands without added sugar if you don’t mind the taste. Otherwise, keep floss or floss sticks with you and take the time to clean your teeth after eating.