When you were a kid, your parents probably told you over and over again how important it was to brush your teeth. While today that may seem like second nature, they probably did not inform you that there are also many foods that you should avoid to keep your smile bright and healthy.

Here is a look at five foods that you should avoid to maintain a healthy smile.

1. Candy

You have probably heard this one several times before but it needs to mention on any list of foods to avoid for a healthy smile. Hard candy is especially harmful because of its excessive sugar and the fact that it can make it more likely that your teeth will chip or break. While it is unrealistic to say that you should give up candy altogether, just be sure that you are not overdoing it on a regular basis.

2. Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits are harmful to your teeth because they have a very high acidity level. Fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are all high in acidity and consuming too many of them can lead to tooth decay. Once again, you are never going to be expected to give up these fruits entirely but you should do your best to avoid eating them in large doses.

3. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries may be awfully tasty, but they also can create some pretty significant stains on your teeth. You can usually avoid too much staining by drinking water or other clear liquids after eating any type of colored berry.

4. Soda and Coffee

Like candy, you have probably been told plenty of times about how damaging soda and coffee can be to your teeth. Soda is actually bad for two reasons; it has high acidity levels and has a ton of sugar in it. While coffee is a great pick-me-up in the morning, it is also famous for its tendency to significantly discolor teeth. Drinking water along with coffee or soda can help prevent discoloration.

5. Sticky Foods

Foods that are sticky are never a good thing for oral health because they tend to stick to teeth and allow bacteria to build. Common sticky foods include items like peanut butter, jelly, and caramel. Condiments like syrup can also be bad for your teeth.

While no one can expect you to give up these foods and drinks entirely, it is important that you avoid eating them in excess. On top of that, be sure that you are performing proper teeth maintenance after consuming these foods (i.e. brushing and flossing your teeth).

Foods, like vegetables, that are rich in fiber are extremely good for your teeth. Cheeses and other dairy products also tend to promote good oral health. Maintaining a good balance between these foods and the foods to avoid is the most realistic solution. Overall, remember that you only get one set of teeth, so take care of them while you still can!

If your smile has suffered as a result of eating any of these foods, call Dr. O’Donnell, a friendly dentist in Centreville VA. We’ll be more than happy to help improve your oral health!

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