Did you know that there are some common foods that can crack your teeth, or worse, cause you to lose a filling or a dental crown? Every week, numerous patients come through the doors of our clinic looking for a solution to a dental emergency of some sort, and more often than not, it’s because of a mishap that occurred while eating.
There are many foods out there that can cause these problems, but we’ve narrowed down the top foods for you here that can do the most damage to your teeth.
What’s stronger — your teeth or that hard, crunchy baguette? We’ve been told in all our science books that enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and this is true! But while it is hard, the enamel is also brittle. Over time, our diets have become a lot softer than they used to be for the hunters and gatherers of the past. Modern foods are a lot easier on our enamel, but even now, some food items can prove to be a challenge for your teeth. Take caution with these foods that can crack your teeth, especially if your molars have larger restorations.
While popcorn is the perfect low-calorie snack for movie nights and lounging around, it’s not quite so perfect for your teeth. First, the husks can get wedged between your teeth or under your gums, causing what is called a popcorn abscess. Not only is this infection painful, but it is also quick to spread. Some dental floss and, in more severe cases, a dose of antibiotics, is needed to take care of it. Popcorn abscess is bad, but what’s even worse is that the condition can quickly deteriorate. The leading cause of concern when it comes to popcorn is the kernels. You bite down on one, and crack! There goes your tooth. Be careful when you eat popcorn – stick to the fluffy, buttery bits, and avoid chewing on the kernels.
Rogue olive pits take the second-place prize to popcorn when it comes to foods that can crack your teeth and cause unsuspecting dental damage. Sometimes, pit fragments are left behind because of improper food processing. Perhaps the olive was neglected during meal preparation, or maybe it wasn’t even pitted in the first place. Either way, when you bite into an olive you expect it to be soft, but you may find the exact opposite if a pit or pit fragment is present. So, next time you tear into your salad or fish an olive out of your martini, bite into it carefully, so you don’t end up with a cracked tooth!
Almonds are great for your body. Not only are they delicious, they’re also highly nutritious. But they have their own risks! Eating almonds whole has led to a mini epidemic of almond-induced dental problems. These range from smaller issues like tooth sensitivity to larger, more serious problems such as tooth chips or fractures — and in some very serious cases, even temporal mandibular disorders. No one wants that from eating nuts! Instead of eating almonds whole, you could try going for the slivered or sliced kinds and be moderate about how many you eat.
Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, sure, but it’s not the hardest substance out there! Ice is harder than your enamel, so biting on ice cubes is not all that much different from chewing on rocks, because they’d have the same devastating effects: broken teeth! Back teeth with larger fillings are especially vulnerable to the damage ice cubes can cause. So, if you have this bad habit, it’s time to break it — ice is one of the foods that can crack your teeth.
Though caramel candies aren’t the leading culprit in causing dental problems, they’re not at the back of the line either. These candies are softer, or they can be softened easily by sucking on them for a while, but that’s not what makes them so detrimental to your teeth. Caramel candies are sticky, which means that they can pull out any loose dental work you’ve been procrastinating on getting fixed, and in some cases, pull any loose teeth out altogether! These candies can wedge between your teeth and dental work, pulling it out while you chew. Taffy and Starburst candies tend to have the same effect. While it is best to avoid these kinds of sticky candies altogether, if you must eat them, make sure to brush and floss afterward, to avoid serious issues that could cause more problems later on.
Storing candy bars in the freezer makes for a nice, cold treat on a summer day. Unfortunately, your teeth would disagree! Candy bars can be terrible for your dental health on their own, but frozen candy bars take it a step further. Frozen Milky Way in particular can be especially dangerous, because not only is it rock hard coming out of the freezer, which is just as destructive to your teeth as chewing on ice, but it also contains a sticky, caramel candy center – a double dental whammy. Frozen candy bars easily made our top ten list of foods that can crack your teeth.
Though you are (hopefully) not eating non-food items, using your teeth on them can be bad! We all use our teeth to open packages, bite tape, hold bobby pins, and even just idly chew on pen caps and pencils. Though it may seem harmless, these habits can cause great damage to your teeth, such as tooth chips or fractures. Teeth are for biting and chewing food – they are not your all-purpose utility knife. At least not if you want to keep your teeth.
If you are suffering from a dental emergency or think you might want to get your teeth checked, call us now at (905) 775-5307 as soon as possible. Don’t put it off! Your teeth might have to pay the price. To read more about these or other dental emergencies, click here.