Effects of the Worst Sour Foods On Your Teeth - WhiteTeeth.ie
Effects of the 5 Worst Sour Foods on Your Teeth

Effects of the 5 Worst Sour Foods on Your Teeth

Do you brush your teeth regularly? Yes! Do you floss them often? Yes! Do you visit your dentist at regular intervals? Yes! And you think this is enough care for your teeth? Wrong. A significant part of your dental health depends on what you eat. Sour foods can trigger bacterial infections, while others can assist in the formation of plaques. Some foods can cause cavities, while others can be the reason for the yellowing of teeth. You should take a deeper insight into how different foods affect your teeth.

To improve your dental health, along with brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist, you need to limit how often you eat the following foods.

  1. Sour Candies

Candies, in general, are bad for your dental health, but sour candies are extremely detrimental. Their acidic nature makes them harsh on your teeth. Another reason for them being on the list of the worst foods is their stickiness. They can stick to your teeth and maximise the chances of decay. When a portion of food remains on our teeth for a long time, bacteria begin to infiltrate it. These bacteria start to ferment and can cause severe damage.

  1. Carbonated Drinks

We all know carbonated drinks are bad for your general health, but their effects on our teeth are even worse. These drinks are highly acidic and can form plaques on your teeth. They can also stain your teeth. Discoloured teeth may be the reason you hesitate while smiling.

Your mouth dries after drinking them, which means they also contribute to decreasing saliva. Having less saliva can cause tooth decay, gum diseases, and oral infections. A study carried out in 2008 highlighted the effect of different drinks on tooth erosion. It claimed that Lemon-lime Gatorade causes the most damage, followed by Red Bull, Coke, and Diet Coke.

  1. Citrus

We all love to eat citrus fruits and drink citrus juices, but we know little about how they contribute to damaging our dental health. Their high acidic content can have serious consequences, including enamel eroding. They also make your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay.

These citrus fruits are the major reasons for sensitivity and white spots on teeth. The acid demineralizes the enamel, weakening it slowly until some bacteria use this opportunity to infect the whole tooth, causing severe pain and infection.

Lemon is also a citrus fruit. Squeezing lemon on your food or even into a glass of water can add acidic content to your diet. A study carried out in 2008 showed that lemon juice causes the most damage among citrus fruit drinks, and orange juice causes the least.

sour foods

  1. Pickles

Vinegar is the rudimentary ingredient of pickles, and we all know how acidic vinegar is. Vinegar adds a sour and salty taste to pickles and, at the same time, damages your tooth enamel.

Pickles are a common food item in many households, and we need to educate people on how they contribute to tooth wear. A study carried out in 2004 showed that pickles are closely linked with causing tooth wear in British teenagers. Once your tooth enamel is damaged because of acidic vinegar, your teeth are much more vulnerable to impairment.

  1. Wine gums

Wine gums are highly acidic, and if you’ve read this write-up until this point, you must know how damaging acidic contents can be for your oral health. It can deteriorate your tooth enamel and can cause your teeth to look yellow.

Once the protective layer of enamel is damaged, bacteria can quickly attack your teeth, causing severe infections. Dentists might have a solution for this, but it is better to avoid it in the first place.

That is why it is important that no matter how delicious those wine gums look, you must try to avoid them. If you can’t resist, then take them in one dose instead of devouring them slowly. And don’t forget to rinse your mouth or even brush after eating them. That is the only way you can keep both your tastebuds and your teeth happy.

Some healthy alternatives to sour foods

You can devour the following food items instead of eating sour foods.

  1. Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.
  2. Cheese and yoghurts.
  3. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, etc.

All of these are not only safer for your teeth but also keep your body healthy and disease-free.

Why is sour food that bad?

You must have noticed that all the foods mentioned above are sour. So you must be thinking, what is so bad about sour foods? Usually, we don’t realise the effects of certain foods because we solely concentrate on their taste.

Trapped in the flavour of sour foods, we don’t comprehend how damaging they are for our health. The effects of sour food on teeth are very detrimental.

Sour foods have a fundamental component which is acid. The acidity destroys the tooth enamel. This enamel is the protective coating of your teeth, and the acid in these sour foods dissolves it. Can you imagine the protective layer dissolving? Yes, that’s exactly what happens. Once this layer is defaced, your teeth become much more vulnerable.

If you have braces, this can get even worse. Braces offer hiding places for food particles, and they can cause even more significant damage. Braces increase the duration of exposure so that acidic food can dissolve your tooth enamel without you being aware.

Sour food causes sensitivity

Have you ever felt troublesome, sharp pains or irritating sensations after eating something hot or cold? If yes, then you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. Sour foods, which contain highly acidic content, are the primary reason behind tooth sensitivity.

Sour foods can induce painful sensitivity. They damage your tooth enamel and weaken the gum line. When food is stuck in the gums, the acidic content plays its part, and the inner lining of your teeth is exposed. Once your teeth are uncovered, they become sensitive.

Exposure of the inner lining means the nerve centre of your teeth is vulnerable, which can cause painful sensations whenever you eat something hot or cold. Tooth sensitivity results from irritation in your exposed nerve endings. This is one of the most common effects of sour food on teeth.

How do you protect your teeth from the harmful effects of sour food?

You can do the following preventive measures to take good care of your teeth:

  • Try to eliminate sour and sticky food from your diet.
  • Use dental floss regularly.
  • Consume cheese after eating acidic food.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or milk.
  • If you can’t stop yourself from munching on sour food, then consume it in one serving instead of nibbling on it all day, bite by bite.
  • Go to your dentist at regular intervals for a proper oral checkup.

Dentists advise their patients to rinse the mouth thoroughly after eating sour foods like sour candies or wine gums. This gesture will not allow acid to stay on your teeth and cause damage. Rinsing your teeth with clean water can minimize the chances of tooth decay by removing the food stuck in your gums.

How to know if a certain food is bad for your teeth

Other than the few sour foods mentioned above, many food items have high acidic content that we use in our daily lives. You can do thorough research by searching the pH content of the food items that you commonly eat. If the pH is less than 7, that means it is acidic. The lower the pH value, the more acidic the content is.

After going through the pH values, you will get an idea about the acidic content you are taking in. You can limit it to improve your dental health.


All the foods mentioned above are acidic; they can easily trigger sensitivity in your teeth by damaging your tooth enamel. So, if you ever wonder why your teeth hurt, even though you take care of your dental health with proper brushing and flossing, this is the reason.

Along with visiting your dentist at regular intervals, you need to take care of your diet because you are what you eat. We know it can be hard to avoid the temptation, but you have to if you want to have healthy and shiny teeth.

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