Your teeth are strong, durable and are designed to last you 80 or more years in exceptional health. Unfortunately, too many people take healthy teeth for granted and forget that, much like your general health, work is required to ensure they remain in good condition. Other than visiting your family dentist once every six months, and brushing and flossing 2-3 times per day, minimizing foods that have the potential to damage your teeth is a good idea. The following are a few of the biggest offenders.

Sour Candy

Any candy with high sugar content is not ideal for the health of your teeth, gums or tongue. However, sugar candies pose the greatest health risk due to the mixture of unique acids needed to produce that sour effect. Sour chewy candies are a particular risk because they are also sticky, which means they’ll amalgamate onto your teeth, which can accelerate tooth decay and other oral health concerns. Chocolate bars, even if they’re sugary, are much easier on your teeth and require less intensive cleaning care to remove from your mouth.

White Bread

Be conscientious the next time you take a stroll past the bread section in the grocery store because your decision could have negative implications for your oral health. Essentially, what occurs when you eat white bread is your saliva breaks down a carbohydrate known as starch, which converts into sucrose. If white bread is a major part of your diet and you have a difficult time finding healthy alternatives, consider buying whole wheat loaves of bread.

Alcoholic Beverages

So many people enjoy sipping on a glass of whiskey or wine at the end of a long day or enjoy grabbing a cold bottle of beer for the big hockey game, but doing this on a routine basis has major implications for the long term health of your teeth. Drinking too much alcohol can dry out your mouth (saliva) and leave you susceptible to cavities, tooth decay and periodontal disease. Sip sparingly!

Ice Cubes

Ice isn’t the worst food item on this list, however, just because it is frozen water doesn’t mean it poses no threat to your teeth. Strong substances, such as ice cubes, can damage the enamel on your teeth and even cause chipping or cracks. Ice is an amazing compliment for a cold drink but do your best to resist the temptation of taking a bite into one.

Citric Fruits

Fruits that are highly acidic such as oranges, clementine and grapefruits, are tasty and possess a high quantity of vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system. Unfortunately, the acidic content is quite high in these fruits, and they have the potential to erode your enamel, leaving you susceptible to decay. Eat them, but brush soon after if at all possible!