Eating sugary foods and beverages, such as soft drinks, candy, and pastries, greatly increase your risk for tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, which produces acids that attack tooth enamel. Frequent sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day also increases your risk for tooth decay. Here are a few foods and drinks that can harm our smile and oral health.

Sugary Foods

Unfortunately, many of your favorite drinks are terrible for your oral health. Sodas and other soft drinks contain tons of sugar that turn into acid in your mouth. Because of this, you can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities by drinking soda and other sugary drinks. If you do enjoy sodas or other sugary drinks, we recommend drinking them through a straw and rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash after consumption.

Hard candies are also horrible for your teeth because of the large amounts of sugar in them. Other types of candy that contain lots of sugar include bubblegum, gummy bears, sour patch kids, jelly beans, and more. These sugars can stick to teeth and promote demineralization in teeth, which increases your risk of developing decay. Hard candies can also bend or break teeth. Not only does this pose a danger to your dental health but to your overall health too!

Soft Drinks

Soda and sports drinks are some of the worst beverages for your oral health. That’s because both contain a lot of acid and sugar. When you drink these beverages regularly, they can cause major damage to your teeth. For example, if you sip on soda all day, the citric acid will slowly eat away at your enamel. The sugar in soft drinks can also contribute to tooth decay. What’s more, sports or energy drinks are very acidic themselves – even more so than regular soft drinks. They’re often packed with added sugars as well. These drinks can cause serious damage to your tooth enamel over time. But they’re also really bad for your waistline as well! So try to limit them as much as possible if you want to keep your smile healthy.

Coffee and Tea

Drinking coffee or tea isn’t necessarily bad for you, but over-consuming these beverages can be bad for your teeth. The tannins in coffee and tea can stain teeth over time while also dehydrating your mouth and making the enamel more susceptible to decay. Try to limit yourself to one cup of coffee or black tea per day if possible.

If cutting out coffee or black tea isn’t an option, try to limit your consumption to in the morning and wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth so that you don’t scrub away the acids from your tooth enamel. You can also stick to drinking black coffee and adding milk instead of cream and sugar to avoid staining your teeth with brown residue.


Despite its many supposed health benefits, wine actually wreaks havoc on oral health when consumed in excess. The sugars in the wine feed oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. Red wine also contains tannins that can discolor teeth. Consumed in moderation, red wine may be fine for your oral health, but at a certain point, it will cause more harm than good. When consuming alcohol in any form, make sure to drink plenty of water afterward to flush the toxins out of your system.

Sports Drinks

First, energy drinks are a bad idea for oral health because they are highly acidic and sugar-laden. Your body absorbs the acid from the soda and sports drinks into your bloodstream. This can cause enamel erosion and further tooth decay. Second, sports drinks are filled with sugar, which feeds the bacteria in your mouth and can result in cavities. Also, most sports drinks and sodas add more acidity to the equation, which can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Lastly, if you are an athlete and have been drinking a sports drink or soda while exercising, it is important to remember to drink water as well! It is important to stay hydrated and replace lost electrolytes, but water can give you this. Water is also the best beverage choice overall for your oral and overall health!

Citrus Fruits and Juices

Citrus fruits and juices have long been a staple of the American diet due to their refreshing taste and ability to be squeezed into many recipes. However, these citrus fruits are notoriously harmful to your teeth. These acidic fruits can wear away protective enamel and cause tooth sensitivity and cavities over time. While the occasional glass of orange juice is not going to destroy your smile, sipping on citrus juice or eating oranges throughout the day will slowly ruin your smile by wearing down your protective enamel. If you do want to enjoy a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice, be sure to swish your mouth with water afterward to neutralize the acid. This will also help wash away any residue from the fruit so that it does not sit on your teeth for too long.

Please reach out to our dental practice at 70 Pennington Dr, Ste 7, Bluffton, SC 29910, to have a consultation with our dentists. Call Dentist in Bluffton, SC, or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.

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