According to the center for disease control and prevention, cavities affect nearly 20 percent of the population ages 5-19 on a yearly basis. As one ages, the frequency of cavity and other dental problems increases. Nearly 30 percent of adults ages 20-44 have dental cavities and other issues. With such a prominent frequency, you may be wondering to yourself what steps you can take to protect your dental health.

The easiest and most significant step that you can take is to avoid eating certain foods. While you can’t nix everything out of your diet, you can start by cutting out the five words foods.

Sticky Foods

For most people, sticky foods may not seem bad at all, especially if those foods include dried fruits because something so healthy can’t be harmful. Contrary to popular belief though, sticky foods, including dried fruits, are very bad for your dental health. When you eat sticky foods, the sugary-laden food becomes stuck to your teeth. Once stuck to your teeth, the sugary begins eating away at the protective enamel – thereby increasing the chance that a cavity will develop.

Starchy Foods

Very few people can say no to a bag of crunchy potato chips, fries, or even a delicious bowl of pasta. But, while you may get a few moments of pleasure from these foods, you’ll find that you may be prone to developing a few months’ worth of dental pain. Starchy foods, like sticky foods, are extremely difficult remove from teeth, thus leading to more frequent cavities.

Sugary Soda

Sugary soda is terrible for your teeth, even when you drink it infrequently. The sugar in sugary drinks also finds a way to stick to your teeth and increase the frequency of cavities. In addition, not only do sugary drinks cause you to develop cavities, but they can also exacerbate current cavities since cavities thrive upon sugar.

Too Much Bread

Bread is delicious, no doubt about it. But, bread is just as harmful as sugary candy and drinks. When you chew on bread, your saliva immediately breaks it down into sugar. As a result, eating bread is akin to eating sugar and it just as bad for your teeth. If you aren’t able to avoid eating bread altogether, you should at least limit your consumption of it to protect your teeth. It’ll pay off in the long run.

Foods that Stain Clothes

Food that can stain your clothes can also stain your teeth. A few of the most common staining foods to avoid include beets, berries, turmeric, coffee, and tea. By avoiding these foods, you can keep your smile white and pristine. Also, if you must consume these foods, then you can at least mitigate the chance of staining by brushing your teeth immediately afterwards. Another potion would be to use whitening strips and mouthwash. These actions will keep your teeth white, even as you consume the exact foods that work to destroy your teeth’s whiteness.