Foods That Are Considered “Bad” for the Dental Health of Seniors

Senior Woman Eating Citrus FruitAs we age, we are more likely to experience dental health issues. These include dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. In addition to this, poor dental health can be the gateway to other more serious health complications. These include heart disease, diabetes, and even the onset of potentially life-threatening pneumonia.

To prevent both oral health issues and the complicated health problems they may bring about, it is important to take dental healthcare measures which include avoiding certain foods that may have a negative impact on senior adults’ teeth.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, generally, are considered to be healthy. They are a good source of fiber, reduce the chance of developing heart disease, help combat infections, and assist in the absorption of nutrients.

Additionally, they may reduce the chance of suffering from a stroke, developing kidney stones, and also help in strengthening the bones.

Unfortunately, the acidity of citrus foods has the ability to erode the enamel on the teeth, making it more susceptible to decay.

To prevent the damaging effects, these fruits may be replaced with supplements that have the same amount of nutrients. But if you don’t want to remove citrus from the diet altogether, seniors should be reminded to consume lots of water when eating them.


When one chews bread, it is broken down by the saliva and transformed into sugar. The gummy-like substance that results sticks on the teeth and in the crevices between each of the teeth. This can result in the development of cavities.

To avoid the ill effects that bread can produce, seniors are advised to opt for whole wheat. This variety of bread has a lot less sugar and does not break down as easily as traditional or regular breads.

Dried Fruits

Many older adults view dried fruits as a healthy snack; however, many are sticky and contain natural sugars – both of which can be damaging to the teeth.

It’s better for seniors to switch to fresh fruits instead. If dried fruit is preferred, the mouth should be rinsed thoroughly with water after consumption.  Teeth should be brushed and flossed.


Many older adults enjoy crackers with their soup or salad or love eating crackers alone as a snack. While not a food that stains, they do contain a high level of refined carbohydrates which means that it breaks down into sugar and gunks up the crevices between the teeth.

When this happens, “bad” bacteria starts to flourish. To avoid this, as with bread, opt for 100% whole wheat crackers and be sure to brush and floss after eating.

Canned Fruit

Many seniors love the texture and flavor of canned fruit; however, these options contain a lot of sugar. Furthermore, the fruit contains a large amount of acid. Opt for fresh fruit in order to risk the fewer problems.


There are several types of foods that can have a negative impact on dental health. Once dental health is impacted, general health may suffer, too.

It is best to get a dental professional and dietician on the senior’s care team so that they have the best level of health possible.

If you are in need of a care team for an older adult, contact us here at Beacon Senior Advisors for more assistance: 973-713-0096.


Recent Posts