Special Report

25 Foods and Drinks That Are Wrecking Your Teeth and Gums

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21. Pumpkin seeds

Dentists often see chipped front teeth, the result of trying to crack pumpkin seeds (and other kinds) open. Fragments of the seeds can also lodge between the teeth.

22. Raisinets

“Raisinets are the devil!” L.A. cosmetic dentist Jon Marashi told Business Insider last year. The sweetened chocolate is bad enough, but the raisins are even worse because, like other dried fruits, they leave sticky residue in and on your teeth. “The chocolate,” says Marashi, “is just kerosene for the fire!”

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23. Tea

Some types of tea are thought to neutralize the demineralization of tooth enamel, but the tannins in other types can both stain and erode teeth. A University of Iowa College of Dentistry study several years ago found that black tea does damage faster than green tea — but even black tea took a lot longer to do harm than vinegar or carbonated beverages.

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24. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are very acidic, and can damage enamel if they’re eaten raw and on their own (other ingredients eaten with them, for instance mozzarella, will help to minimize the damage). They may also cause acid reflux, which itself can damage teeth.

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25. White bread

Bread of any kind can leave bits of moistened starch in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, but white bread — the kind you can scrunch up into a small ball — is the worst variety. It sticks to your teeth like library paste, while releasing sugar to feed the bacteria in your mouth.

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