Business man looking outside the window in an office. Senior business man thinking about work while sitting at his desk in a suit.

Healthfully – written by Maressa Brown

When it comes to caring for your well-being, dental health may not rank as high as other concerns, like cardiovascular and digestive health. Yet, when something goes wrong with your chompers — think bleeding gums or a cavity — figuring out how to improve your dental hygiene quickly becomes top of mind.

Besides keeping up with regular visits to your dentist, brushing and flossing, one of the best ways to maintain dental health is by steering clear of certain foods and drinks that can chip away at your mouth’s wellness.

“Certain ingredients may not only be damaging to your waistline but to your teeth as well,” says Sarah Jebreil, D.D.S. **, a dentist in Newport Beach, Calif. Here are seven foods that dentists are quick to sideline for the sake of dental health. **

  1. Red Wine

Red wine may be delicious and full of wonderful flavonoids, well-known antioxidants that can help with inflammation and protect cell structure, but when it comes to your teeth you might want to be careful.

The good news is you don’t have to drink your cab or pinot noir out of a straw to keep your smile bright and shiny — simply rinse your mouth with water after drinking it. Phew!

  1. Lemons

Lemons may be low in calories, packed with fiber and high in vitamin C, but don’t ever think about sucking on a whole lemon or drinking undiluted lemon juice. “Lemons erode your enamel due to acidity,” says Dr. Apa, who advises against letting your teeth come into contact with any sort of lemon concentrate. Luckily you don’t have to avoid the tart citrus altogether. Adding lemon juice to your favorite foods is totally fine, as is drinking water with as much lemon squeezed into it as you please.

  1. Sticky Candies

Candies that aren’t only sweet but also sticky — think Sour Patch Kids or Laffy Taffy — may serve as a throwback to childhood and offer a pleasant sugar rush, but they’re bad news for your teeth, says Maricelle Abayon, D.M.D. , dentist and faculty member with Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“Gummy candy and taffy stick to the tooth surface and can be difficult to clean off,” Dr. Abayon says. The risk? When residual sugar is left on the surface of the tooth, it can up your risk of developing cavities.

  1. Fruit Juice

Whether you love grabbing a glass of orange juice with your breakfast, a green juice on the way home from the gym or lemonade on a hot summer day, overdoing consumption of fruit juice — especially apple and orange juice — is a no-no if you want to keep your teeth healthy.

“It breaks down into acids that demineralize the tooth surface, also increasing the risk for developing cavities,” says Dr. Abayon. Tooth erosion — loss of tooth enamel from acidic foods and beverages — is a potential issue, as well.

A 2015 study published in PLoS One compared various beverages for their effect on tooth erosion and found that apple juice and orange juice were about five times more erosive than light cola, and lemon juice was significantly erosive, as well.

  1. Coffee

You already know that ordering a frothy, sugar-packed coffee drink is the fast track to consuming empty