5 Surprising Foods That Damage Your Teeth and Gums

#1: Ice Cream

This frozen treat may harm gums, especially those that are already vulnerable. In general, the added sugars in most sweets are bad news for your gums, because the sugars trigger the release of eroding acids . What’s more, ice cream’s icy temperature can irritate gums where they have already started wearing away, exposing roots to hot and cold sensations . This doesn’t mean cutting sweets out of your diet. Try limiting yourself, and when you eat ice cream, try to brush away the sugars afterward.

#2: Tomatoes

Just as sugary diets do not promote healthy, firm gums, highly acidic diets are also gum offenders. And while tomatoes are healthy in many regards and rich in the antioxidant lycopene , which has been linked to lower stroke risk , the juicy fruit is also highly acidic . Eating such foods is like bathing your teeth in acid that wears away gums and promotes decay . When enjoying this juicy fruit, try to pair with other acid-neutralising foods like spinach, carrots and broccoli .

#3: Oranges

Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are acidic and high in natural fruit sugar, which can damage and erode teeth and gums. Get your vitamin C by eating veggies that are low in acid (such as broccoli, asparagus and peas) and low-acid fruits like strawberries (which are higher in vitamin C than oranges ).

#4: Carbohydrates

Foods that are full of starches are not friends to your gums. While it may surprise you, bread, cakes and raisins can be just as damaging to healthy gums as sweets. These starches are simple carbohydrates that hang around the mouth and dissolve into the type of simple sugar that mouth germs thrive on, the kind that leads to acid-producing tooth decay.

#5: Sports Drinks

In addition to being high in sugar, some sports drinks can also promote tooth erosion, because they are also high in acid. If you or your child drink sports drinks after exercise sessions, either look at labels to find the brands lowest in added sugars or try switching to water.