When teeth are in prolonged exposure to acidic food enamal begins to erode. This will increase the risk of getting cavities and stained teeth. Some of the most acidic foods are lemons, grapefruit, white wine, sour candy, pop (even diet soda) and vinegar.
It’s easy to identify food with high sugar content as this information is usually available on packaging. However, you also have to watch out for food that is high in natural sugar such as fruit.
You may not immediately think of bread and chips when you hear the word “sugar,” but the startch found in these foods is broken down into sugar by saliva in your mouth. It is important to make sure these foods do not get stuck in your teeth.
Two of the biggest culprits for sticky food are soft candy and dried fruit. Compared to fresh fruit, dried fruit has a higher sugar content and more easily sticks to teeth. It is a good idea to brush or rinse your mouth after eating these.
Foods and drinks that dry out your mouth enable plaque to produce more acid. A dry mouth can be worsened by alcohol, soda and salt.
Artificial and natural colour in foods and drinks can stain teeth over time. This is commonly seen with soda, coffee and red wine.
A good rule of thumb is rinse your mouth with water after consuming these foods. Do be careful to not brush immediately after eating acidic food as brushing may damage the weakened enamel. Wait at least an hour before brushing. In the meantime, just rinse with water.