Oral hygiene plays a significant role in your smile, but did you know the food you eat matters?

Exposing your teeth to harmful foods puts your teeth at risk even if you’re brushing and whitening regularly. Foods that are bad for your teeth may erode your enamel, which damages your teeth and your smile. What’s more, unlike other parts of your body, enamel damage or loss is permanent.

That’s a bad thing for anyone who wants whiter teeth because while you can bleach away coffee stains, it’s far harder to correct intrinsic stains on the inner structure of your teeth.

When your enamel thins or disappears, dentin shows through. Your dentin turns yellow over time anyway, but a healthy enamel covers up the discoloration. Without enamel,

We all know sugar is your enamel’s biggest enemy, but some of the worst foods for your enamel and the hopes of a bright smile may surprise you.

5 Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Are you eating or drinking these foods that are bad for teeth on a regular basis? Find out now:

1. Citrus Fruits and Juices

Citrus is a heart-healthy way to get your much-needed vitamin C. Unfortunately, the acidity in citrus damages your teeth. Lemon and grapefruit feature the highest levels of acidity, which damages your tooth enamel.

Fortunately, orange juice isn’t nearly as bad for your teeth as the other acidic citrus fruits. A store-bought juice also often comes with added vitamin D and calcium, which strengthen teeth. Just be sure to brush after your morning glass.

2. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are often as bad for your teeth as soda because many contain high levels of sugar. Although popular among athletes, the Amerian Dental Association says its far better to switch out sports drinks for water except for the in case of prolonged physical exercise. Elite level gymnasts might benefit from them, but after school basketball practice doesn’t typically require a Gatorade.

3. Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are a double whammy: they’re full of sugar, and they’re sticky. Because their texture tends to stick to your teeth, they don’t wash away as quickly, which damages the enamel.

If dried fruit or trail mix is your snack of choice, drink plenty of water and brush your teeth afterward.

4. White Bread

White bread is everyone’s favorite demon. While other claims may or may not be accurate, there’s one thing we do know: it can damage your teeth.

Bread and other refined carbs feature a starch that sits in your mouth even after you’re done eating. Those starches may break down into sugars, which damage your teeth.

5. Pickles

Pickles seem innocuous, right? They’re vegetables – they’re cucumbers.

While cucumbers aren’t bad for your enamel, pickling them with vinegar does create a hazard. The acidity of vinegar wears away at tooth enamel.

A pickle here and there won’t hurt, but adding to every meal does create problems. One study showed that eating pickles just once a day increases the likelihood of experiencing tooth wear by 85%.

Is Your Diet Staining Your Teeth?

Strong enamel is a critical part of maintaining a sparkling smile. That’s why it’s important to do more than brush and whiten: you also have to avoid foods that are bad for your teeth.

Were you surprised by some of the foods bad for your teeth and want to know more? Click here to learn about keeping your smile bright and healthy.