To ensure you’re staying away from the top offenders and eating as many teeth-friendly foods as possible, below is a list of the worst foods for your teeth, according to dentists. It includes all those foods your mom limited growing up—like candy and soda (sorry!)—and a few others that might surprise you.
Worst Foods For Your Teeth
Any food that is soft or chewy and tends to stick to teeth is considered cariogenic, meaning it’s more likely to cause tooth decay or cavities, says Jaclyn Tomsic, M.D., an oral and maxillofacial surgeon based in Ohio. Taffy is pretty much the poster child for cariogenic foods.
Believe it or not, banana is cariogenic. Because of its soft texture, the fruit can easily find its way into the nooks and crannies of your teeth and gums, hanging out to cause decay. You should try to avoid eating these foods at times when you will be unable to brush your teeth in a timely manner.
Caramel is known for its ooey gooey, sticky goodness, but that’s exactly what’s bad for your teeth. Because it sticks to them while—and long after—you’re chomping down, it’s far more likely to cause cavities than other foods.
You may not think of them this way, but raisins (and many other dried fruits) are just as chewy and sticky as your favorite gummy candy, making them equally responsible for teeth problems. Their texture makes them more difficult to brush away, increasing the likelihood of cavities.