Caries are caused by cariogenic bacteria that produce acids from carbohydrates in food. This means that the most harmful foods for teeth are the ones rich in carbohydrates. Of course, vegetables are an exception.
When we talk about foods that cause tooth decay we don’t have to think only about candy. They could also be caused by – fruits, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, chips, crackers, snacks, croissants, pasta, chocolate, Turkish delight, halva, biscuits, pies, jam, honey, dried fruit, ice cream, sauces.
There are a lot of drinks that also promote the development of dental caries. Such are natural juices, fresh juices, carbonated drinks, fruit milk, shakes, smoothies, and even beer and wine. However, it is not possible to limit ourselves to all foods and beverages that are cariogenic. Factors that influence the development of dental caries are the frequency of meals and the time that food stays in the oral cavity.
Having different drinks, such as carbonated, in sips for several hours or all day is much more harmful than drinking one glass or one bottle at a time. The same goes for food. For the teeth, it doesn’t matter if we eat one chocolate candy or one box of chocolates as long as they are eaten at once, not one candy every 10 minutes. The longer the food and drink are in contact with the teeth, the longer the time for demineralization of the tooth structures from the acids produced by the plaque.
In conclusion, we can say that unhealthy foods and beverages are not so harmful if consumed in reasonable quantities and are distributed in several doses every few hours, rather than a bite every few minutes. Of course, there are exceptions here, because there are foods that, even if consumed quickly, stay on the tooth surface for a long time and thus have a higher cariogenic potential. These are foods are more sticky and form a layer on the tooth surface that lasts a long time. Examples of such foods are sandwiches in fast food chains, halva, Turkish delight, jelly, and chewy candies.