There are several foods to avoid if you have sensitive teeth to prevent pain and added dental problems. Teeth sensitivity is surprisingly common. But the causes can vary. For some, hot or cold foods cause discomfort or pain, especially if the teeth are very thin or have exposed nerves at the base of the tooth/gum line. In others, acidic, sugary and sticky foods are to blame. These may or may not cause immediate pain, but they will worsen the problem either way. Here are some foods you should try giving up, or finding a healthier alternative, if you have sensitive teeth.

5 Foods to Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth


1Soda

5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Try to avoid soda. Soda is typically acidic and can eat away at your enamel. The sugar and acid make it a common trigger for tooth sensitivity. Plus, the cold combined with the carbonation can really send a jolt of pain when you take that first sip. Either way, soda is not a healthy addition to any diet, so consider alternatives like flavored waters or healthier juice options.

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2Ice Cream

5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Ice cream is another food that hits two of the common causes of food sensitivity — cold and sugar. If you don’t have enough enamel to protect the nerves in your teeth, eating ice cream will undoubtedly hurt your teeth. Try and think of a healthier alternative – especially for your kids. While everyone wants to eat dessert every once in a while, find warmer desserts or room temperature options like cakes, bread puddings, or other sweet treats.

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3Coffee and Tea

5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Any hot food can hurt your teeth if you’re sensitive to heat. Coffee is even worse due to its acidic nature, while coffee that’s high in sugar can hit that nerve too. You can reduce the irritation by adding milk instead of sugar to the coffee. This adds flavor without adding sugar, and it lowers the acidity of the beverage. Tea can also cause tooth sensitivity if it’s too hot or too cold. And if you’re adding sugar to the tea, you’ve got the same problem as coffee. Further, avoid unnecessary added sugars like the flavored syrups and whip creams available at the majority of coffee shops.

4Hard Candy

5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Hard candy is bad for sensitive teeth – bit of a no brainer here. Hard candy comes with lots of sugar. The tendency to bite down on it can also irritate teeth. Sticky candy and gum should also be avoided! Candies such as jelly beans, gummy bears, and especially moderately hard/chewy candies such as caramels and the like should be avoided because they can not only cause pain and cavities, but can actually cause serious tooth damage as well.

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5Citrus Fruit

5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Citrus fruit can trigger tooth sensitivity due to the acidity. Sweet citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and even pineapples can also bother those who are sensitive to sugar. Stay away from orange juice as well as this breakfast favorite has high quantities of sugar and acid. Citrus fruits can also cause damage to your stomach lining for those with food sensitivities because of the acidity, so avoiding these fruits may be better for both your teeth and your stomach.


Teeth sensitivity is more common among women and children. But it’s also common in those whose gum lines have receded, either due to heredity or over-brushing. Chipped and cracked teeth are especially sensitive, so it’s important to have any such dental damage repaired as soon as possible. Unfortunately little kids frequently fall and hit their teeth so make sure to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist if your child sustains an injury to a tooth, or is over the age of one year. Consider booking a visit to the dentist if you or a family member have on-going issues, even if it is outside of the time for your regular cleaning. Before your consultation, check to see if you have family health insurance to cover the dental bills. And remember to brush your teeth and floss regularly. While thinner enamel worsens tooth sensitivity today, bacteria eating away at the enamel can cause cavities down the line.   

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Some Obvious and Not So Obvious Diet Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy.

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5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth