The western world is experiencing a rapidly-accelerating health initiative. Grocery stores are dedicating entire aisles to organic produce, while “locavore,” paleolithic, and gluten-free diets continue to dominate online searches. Despite this intense cultural focus on health and wellness, people continue to make poor food choices when it comes to dental health. The following healthy food options can potentially compromise the enamel on your teeth. While these foods should not be avoided entirely, certain precautions may be necessary to enjoy them without negatively impacting your oral health.

1. Chewable vitamins

Readers may balk at the idea that vitamins could be harming their teeth. Vitamins are the fundamental building-blocks of most of our understanding of nutrition, so how could they be doing more harm than good?

Chewable vitamins are palatable because they contain refined sugars. Worse, their texture means that they will likely get lodged in the fissures of your teeth’s chewing surfaces, where the majority of cavities begin. Be sure to brush or rinse after taking your morning vitamin.

2. Fruits

Almost anybody could benefit from adding more plant matter to their diets, but we must be cautious when consuming large amounts of fruit, especially the citrus variety. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are all healthful treats despite their natural sugar content, but their high acidity makes them likely culprits for enamel erosion.

3. Carbohydrates

The Keto diet has demonized carbohydrates as a fat-sprouting macronutrient. In reality, carbohydrates are healthy and a prerequisite for healthy body and brain function. As a rule of general health, it is best to choose more complex carbohydrates such as lentils, brown rice, and whole-grains. But even these smart choices can harm your enamel. Found in saliva, your mouth’s pre-digestive enzymes work to metabolize complex carbohydrates into sugars as you eat, however these enzymes also produce enamel-eroding acids.

Brush your teeth … but not too soon.

While our natural instinct is to brush our teeth right after eating food we think may be harmful, according to the Mayo Clinic, we should avoid brushing our teeth for at least 30 minutes. Brushing too soon after eating food, especially anything acidic, can damage your tooth’s enamel.

So wait… but don’t forget to brush or rinse after eating these food choices to keep your smile in shape.

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