Each and every time we eat any form of carbohydrate the sugars present in food mix with the bacteria in our mouth to produce an acid attack on our teeth. It is this acid attack that results in tooth decay. The acid attack continues even after we swallow the food – it takes time for our saliva to neutralize the acid attack.
High Risk Foods
|Cough drops||Antacids||Dried fruits||Fruit juices||Ice cream/frozen fruit treats|
|Jams & Jellies||Chocolate milk||Granola bars||Pudding||Soda/pop (including diet)|
|Sports drinks (Gatorade)||Sweetened yogurt||Coffee/tea with sugar|
Low Risk Foods
|Raw vegetables||Unsweetend yogurt||Celery w/cheese||Cheese & Crackers (multigrain is best)||Unsweetened apple sauce|
|Coffee/tea w/no sugar||Water||Popcorn||Eggs||Hummus/salsa Chips|
Where possible avoid foods in the High Risk Category especially between meals as the frequency of consumed high risk foods plays a role in the development of tooth decay. High risk foods that are slowly dissolved (hard candies, lozenges) are the worst as the acid attack on the teeth is prolonged, followed by sticky foods (jelly beans, fruit chews, pretzels) that are not easily cleared from the mouth, and finally liquids (pop, sports drinks, milk). Higher risk foods should be eaten only as part of a meal and preferably at the start of a meal. When consuming at the end of a meal or as a between meal snack, eat higher risk foods with water and either finish with a piece of cheese or sugarless gum, or brush teeth well to decrease the acid attack.