Worst Foods & Drinks for Your Teeth

Did you know that certain foods have the potential for damaging your teeth? Yes, many seemingly harmless foods and candies will in fact cause problems with your teeth, including chipping, cavities, and staining. Read our list of the top worst foods and drinks for your teeth and try an alternative when possible!

Hard Candy

Hard candies, including lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, and peppermints, will cling to your teeth easily. If bits of hard candy stay stuck to your teeth, the sugar and citric acid can wear down your enamel.

Hard candy also takes time to dissolve, so the longer you keep this candy in your mouth, the more time bacteria in your mouth has to produce harmful, enamel-damaging acid!


Pickles are a favorite snack for many. They can be eaten alone, or to adorn a tasty hamburger, but the sour and salty taste that make pickles so delicious is the exact thing that makes them harmful to your teeth. Pickles have been linked with tooth wear, and one study even showed that eating just one pickle a day increases your odds of tooth and enamel wear by as much as 85%!


Soda, pop, cola…whatever its moniker, the health effects are the same. Soda is not only harmful for our waistline; it is also harmful for our teeth. The sugar content in soda isn’t even one of the most egregious ingredients in these fizzy drinks, but rather the acids found so often in sugary carbonated drinks. For this reason, diet or sugar-free varieties are just as harmful for your teeth and enamel as the full-sugar, full-calorie fizzy drinks.

Sports Drinks

So you think downing a Gatorade after a good workout is doing your body good? Well, while many sport drinks may have important electrolytes, they still contain a good amount of acidic ingredients that will damage your teeth. In fact, one study conducted by the University of Iowa found that Lemon-lime Gatorade was one of the most offensive flavors in terms of enamel wear. Researchers kept teeth in different drinks to study how badly enamel was worn by each one, and Gatorade was one of the worst, followed by Red Bull, Coke and Diet Coke.

Now that we’ve ruined your favorite snacks and drinks, maybe it’s time to think about alternatives or ways you can treat your teeth better. There are, believe or not, foods that are actually good for your teeth, such as cheese!

Are you wondering now how your enamel is holding up against your intake of fizzy drinks or pickles? Schedule an appointment now with Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry for an appointment today! We look forward to giving you a healthy, shining smile!

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