4 Traditional American Foods That Ruin Your Teeth

Posted Jul 15, 2019

We Americans are a relatively young nation but our traditional foods are loved and popular both in our country and around the world. Our food is tasty and comforting but how many healthy items of American cuisine can you name? A cobb salad? Beans? 

Our food is undoubtedly a pure pleasure, but unlike, for example, Asian cuisine, it’s more about the flavors and satiety rather than about health and low calories. This can be said about multiple cuisines around the world because historically people perceived food as a means of taming hunger and giving them the energy to work hard. Obsession with healthy food and understanding the connection between diet and diseases is a relatively new trend. It’s a product of scientific progress and a healthy lifestyle.

We all know that American food is not something that will keep you in good shape. A problem of obesity in the USA is another disturbing “trend”  that keeps growing. However, there’s something more related to food, and it’s no good news. Many dishes from American traditional foods are bad for your teeth as well.

The Worst Traditional Foods for Your Teeth

You can enjoy this tasty stuff but it’s better not to be too fond of it - your teeth won’t thank you for this. 


Watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn became a tradition not only in the USA but in the entire world. How often we find a hard grain that didn’t want to roast and try to crack it anyway? Perhaps everyone does this. It’s dangerous for the teeth because such strain is too much for our enamel and it causes fissures. The chaff from popcorn gets between the teeth and under the gums and can cause inflammation.


Good old raisins and peanuts aren’t that good for you. Of course, they are very satiating, full of healthy fats, vitamins, and other important nutrients but everything has its dark side. Hard nuts cause fissures on enamel (remember popcorn?) and sweet sticky substance of raisins and candy help bacteria settle there and destroy your teeth. So be sure you have the opportunity to rinse your mouth after eating gorp.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

This favorite snack of American children is not that innocent, and any pediatric dentist will agree. It’s packed with sugar that, combined with stickiness, creates all the necessary conditions for the development of cavities. Choose sugar-free peanut butter and rinse your mouth after eating this delish snack. 

Barbecue meat

Saucy pieces of meat covered with our favorite BBQ sauce… What a tasty picture! However, this is also a risk for your teeth. Why? That sticky sauce contains caramelized sugar that is dangerous for our dental enamel. Besides, there is a chance of fracturing a tooth if the meat is baked to a very hard crisp.

Did this article make you sad? Come on, there’s no need to reject all those treasures of the American cuisine. But they shouldn’t make your daily menu - it’s okay to eat them sometimes and take good care of your oral health and hygiene after you eat them. Rinse your mouth, hydrate to increase the production of saliva to fight bacteria in your mouth - and everything will be fine!