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While brushing and flossing every day is the best way to keep your teeth clean, why not add a little extra cleanliness by watching what you eat and drink? The foods you eat and the drinks you drink can have an effect on the healthiness of your teeth. Here is a list of four of the worst foods to eat if you are trying to keep your teeth healthy.

1. Cling-On Foods – Foods like jelly beans, chewy candy, caramel, and sweet foods like cakes and muffins leave plaque on your teeth and lead to tooth decay. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum, eat a piece of fruit, or try something more naturally healthy than a candy bar instead.

2. Carbonated Drinks – Most carbonated drinks are filled with sugar, which coat your teeth with plaque, leading to tooth decay. Diet sodas can also be dangerous as they have their own acids, such as aspartame, that leave residue on the teeth and create a prime environment for bacteria to grow. Having soda sparingly won’t ruin your teeth, but pay attention to the way your mouth reacts – you’re the best judge of knowing when to stop.

3. Dried Foods – The consistency and stickiness of dried foods can cause them to adhere to the teeth, allowing the acid in these dried foods to stick to the teeth, ultimately leading to tooth decay and enamel erosion. Trading fresh fruit for dried fruit is always a good compromise.

4. Simple Carbohydrates – Bacteria living in your mouth live off of the simple carbohydrates that make up chips, crackers and white-flour-based foods. If you are craving some simple carbs for a snack once in a while, reach for some cheese to add to your crackers, or some cottage cheese to eat with your bread. Adding other foods that are low in carbs and high in protein help balance out those simple carbs on which the bacteria thrives.