12 Foods Most Likely To Cause Tooth Decay


We all know that we should brush and floss our teeth twice a day, but did you know that there are foods that can be more likely to contribute to tooth decay?

I’ve partnered with Crest to bring you a handy, little list of the worst foods for your teeth and overall dental health.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Hard candy 

Everyone knows that candy isn’t good for your teeth in general because of all the sugar. However, aside from being full of sugar, hard candy can put your teeth at risk because they are so hard, and a lot of people try to chew them. According to the American Dental Association, hard candy can cause dental emergencies like broken or chipped teeth.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Sour candies

According to the Minnesota Dental Association, sour candy is even worse for your teeth than regular candy because the acid that give the candy its tart flavors causes erosion on the enamel of your teeth. The measure of acidity in foods is called the pH level and tooth enamel loss occurs at a pH level of 4.0. Water has a pH level of 7.0 while most sour candies are 5.5 and under.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay


Citrus fruit and citrus juices may contain a lot of nutrients, but your teeth don’t appreciate them as much. These foods and drinks contain high levels of acidity so similar to the sour candy they can cause a decay in your tooth enamel. Lemons and grapefruits are considered the worst offenders while orange juice is less so. In fact, according to health.com, store bought OJ is often fortified with nutrients that are good for your teeth.


While water is one of the best things for your teeth, ice is not so much. Similar to the hard candy, chewing on ice can damage your teeth and make you more likely to have a dental emergency. The ADA suggests using ice to chill your drinks but highly recommends that you resist the urge to chomp on it.

Chewy candy

Might as well just add all candy to this list, because chewy candy is also one of the worst things you can eat for your teeth. These candies stick to your teeth longer than normal foods and that can cause extra bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria essentially eats the sugar which makes acid – again causing damage to your enamel.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Dried fruit 

I know everyone believe dried fruit is a healthy snack option – and it is – just not for your teeth. Dried fruit has a consistency similar to the chewy candy and easily gets stuck to your teeth and in between the crevasses. The ADA recommends rinsing your mouth with water after eating dried fruit if you can’t brush or floss right away.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay


Carbonated sodas can wreak havoc on your teeth. A study from 2013, even compared them to being as damaging to teeth as using some drugs can be. The idea is that carbonated sodas give plaque the ability to produce more acids that will attack your enamel. The ADA also says that carbonated sodas that include caffeine can also dry out your mouth. Having less saliva in your mouth can lead to tooth decay and other gum issues.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Crunchy carbs 

Everyone loves a good potato chip and knows the best ones are the ones that produce the best crunch. The problem is all the starch in them. It gets trapped between your teeth and provides a great source of food of the plaque bacteria.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay


Like the sodas above, alcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. Those too things will reduce the saliva in your mouth and overtime can cause issues with tooth decay. The ADA also says that heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk of mouth cancer.

Sports drinks 

Sports drinks are often loaded with sugar and that’s the main issue here. The American Academy of Pediatrics says these drinks can be helpful for children that are in a lot of sports and physically demanding activities but overall, they are going to be damaging to your teeth.

Coffee and tea

SAY IT ISN’T SO! According to the ADA there are a few issues with our beloved coffee and tea.

  1. Most people load them up with sugar (guilty) and that is basically the same as eating candy.
  2. Caffeinated products dry out your mouth and that can cause a decrease is saliva – just like soda and alcohol.
  3. Due to their coloring, coffee and tea can stain your teeth overtime.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

However, no matter what you eat, brushing with a great toothpaste is the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope Toothpaste and Crest 3D Arctic White Fresh are two toothpastes that will help to keep your teeth, clean, white and healthy.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Crest Complete Whitening Plus Scope combines whitening power with Scope mouthwash. It helps to fresh your breath while removing surface stains, fighting cavities and fighting tartar build up from the foods you eat.

Foods Most Likely to Cause Tooth Decay

Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh can remove 80 percent of those surface stains built up from all your meals and snack and give you a whiter smile. It also protects against future stains from your beloved coffee. It’s safe on tooth enamel and will actually help to strengthen your teeth.

Right now at Walgreens you can grab a $2 eSaver coupon + Buy 3, Get $3 deal that can be used on a variety of Crest toothpaste products. Click here to get the coupon.

For more healthy living posts, click here.

Find out how to Brush Your Teeth For The Best Oral Health


  1. Coffee is my major weakness. I also can’t pass up a bag of soda bottle gummies. So good! Making sure I brush right gives me some piece of mind.

  2. Crest is my favorite but not my soda *cries* I know I need to give it up anyway I would rather give that up than my teas. I tried dried fruit one time issa no for me on that one

  3. wow! You are so right, but I can’t resist to these candies and food even I know that they no so good for ourselves!

  4. These are all good things to think about. I have to say that I am guilty of eating a lot of these. I have a tough time with my teeth and I will have to keep this in mind.

  5. I finally gave up my everyday soda habit this summer, because I was worried about what it was doing to my teeth. It looks like that was a good decision. M teeth have become a lot more sensitive in my middle age. Thankfully, I always brush and floss, and overall my teeth are pretty healthy.


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