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Worst Food And Drink For Your Teeth

Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth, but acidic foods can cause just as many problems. This is because the acid in food and drinks, such as orange juice, temporarily softens the enamel (which is the outside layer of your teeth).

Pouring a cola

After you eat, it can take half an hour for the acids in your mouth to neutralize and the enamel to go back to normal. So if you are constantly eating throughout the day, your mouth never has a chance to recover and you will be more susceptible to acid wear and tooth decay. Some foods and drinks are worse for your teeth than others as they have a low pH, meaning that they are very acidic.

Which Foods And Drinks Are Acidic?

By reducing the amount of acidic food and increasing the number of alkaline foods you eat, you can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay (caries).  Below is a list of common foods and drinks and how acidic or alkaline they are.

Best for teeth Neutral Worst for teeth
Food/Drink Acidity Level
Almonds Slightly alkaline
Apples Slightly alkaline
Apricots Slightly alkaline
Avocado Moderately alkaline
Asparagus Highly alkaline
Baking soda Moderately alkaline
Bananas Slightly alkaline
Beef Highly acidic
Blueberries Moderately alkaline
Broccoli Highly alkaline
Brussel sprouts Highly alkaline
Butter (salted) Slightly acidic
Butter (unsalted) Neutral
Cabbage Highly alkaline
Cantaloupe Slightly acidic
Carrots Highly alkaline
Cashews Moderately acidic
Cauliflower Highly alkaline
Celery Moderately alkaline
Cheese (hard) Highly acidic
Cheese (soft) Slightly acidic
Cherries Moderately acidic
Chicken Moderately acidic
Chocolate Highly acidic
Coffee Highly acidic
Cola Highly acidic
Corn Moderately acidic
Cranberries Highly acidic
Cucumber Highly alkaline
Dates Slightly alkaline
Eggs Slightly acidic
Fish Slightly acidic
Flour (white) Highly acidic
Grapes Moderately alkaline
Honey Slightly acidic
Ice cream Highly acidic
Lamb Highly acidic
Lemon juice Highly acidic
Lentils Slightly acidic
Lettuce Moderately alkaline
Liquor Highly acidic
Mango Highly alkaline
Mayonnaise Moderately acidic
Milk (soy) Slightly alkaline
Mushrooms Slightly alkaline
Oats Moderately acidic
Olive oil Neutral
Onion Highly alkaline
Orange juice Highly acidic
Oysters Slightly acidic
Pasta Highly acidic
Pastries Highly acidic
Peaches Slightly acidic
Peanuts Highly acidic
Peas Slightly alkaline
Pickles Highly acidic
Pineapple Slightly acidic
Pinto beans Moderately acidic
Plums Slightly acidic
Pork Highly acidic
Potato (without skin) Moderately acidic
Potato skins Highly alkaline
Prunes Highly acidic
Pumpkin seeds Slightly acidic
Raspberries Slightly acidic
Rice (brown) Slightly acidic
Rice (white) Moderately acidic
Soft drink Highly acidic
Spinach (cooked) Slightly acidic
Spinach (uncooked) Highly alkaline
Sugar (brown) Moderately acidic
Sugar (white) Moderately acidic
Sweet potato Moderately acidic
Tea (green) Moderately alkaline
Tomatoes (cooked) Moderately acidic
Tomatoes (uncooked) Slightly alkaline
Tomato ketchup Moderately acidic
Turkey Moderately acidic
Vinegar Highly acidic
Walnuts Highly acidic
Water (bottle) Slightly acidic
Water (tap) Neutral
Watermelon Slightly acidic
Wine Highly acidic
Yoghurt Slightly acidic
Zucchini Moderately alkaline

That’s not to say you should avoid acidic food altogether, in fact, many of these foods are very good for your health and should be eaten regularly.  The trick is to know how to eat these foods without causing damage to your teeth.  The opposite of acidic is alkaline, so if you eat something which is acidic you should eat something which is alkaline after it to neutralize the acid levels in your mouth.  For example, something high in acidity like chocolate should be followed with a cup of green tea which is alkaline.