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Junk Food Jitters – 5 Worst Snacks for Your Teeth

By Jill Feilmeier on July 25, 2013 in Dental Health

Friends at an icecream stand

We're faced with it every day, in every store. Junk food aisles among junk food aisles, each product with enticing images that make us drool.

We already know that junk food isn't the best for a healthy diet. But it can be bad news for your teeth too. If you want to keep your teeth healthy – beware of these foods:

1. Sticky Candy: Gooey caramels may make your mouth water, but sticky candies are the worst choice for your teeth. Extra-chewy candies land on and between your teeth and stay there for a long time. The bacteria in our mouths love sugar and eventually turn it to acid. These acids eat at the enamel protecting our teeth, causing cavities. Sour candies are even worse because they're chewy, sugary and acidic – all in one.

2. Soda: You know it – sugary sodas are not only a source of extra calories, they also cause cavities. But you may not know this – the carbonation in sodas, both with sugar and diet, can attack the enamel on your teeth and cause erosion.

3. Crackers: Saltines and other crackers contain refined carbohydrates, which turn to sugar very quickly after eaten. These snacks can lodge in your teeth and between them, resulting in a haven for cavity-forming bacteria.

4. Ice cream sundae with whipped cream and cookie crumbles: Admit it. Your mouth is watering just thinking about this rich, delicious sundae. But beware. You'll get a large shot of sugar to your mouth and your teeth are at risk for cavities.

5. Chips & Fries: How could you not love the salty taste of these ultimate junk foods? Fermentable carbohydrates are found in both chips and fries. They create the perfect storm for cavity-causing acids to flood your mouth.

You may not be able to avoid junk food entirely. Consider healthier snack options like fruits and vegetables. Your smile will be healthier and your waistline will appreciate it too!