America is known as both a cultural melting pot and a salad bowl, and because it has so many different cultures living together, this country has a wealth of food options to choose from. Grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations offer snacks, meals, and ingredients to suit every taste and dietary need. However, some popular foods can be harmful to your smile if you aren’t careful. Here’s a short list of foods that can damage your teeth and how to keep your grin safe when you are snacking or dining.
Popcorn has been enjoyed for centuries because it is fun to eat, easy to dress up with spices, butter, and other flavors, and has a delightfully crunchy yet fluffy texture. Unfortunately, the popping process always leaves a few kernels behind. Anyone who has eaten popcorn can tell you that biting into an unpopped kernel can be a jarring and painful experience. These hard, dense seeds can cause cracks or chips in your teeth if you bite them too hard at just the wrong angle.
This doesn’t mean you have to swear off popcorn for good. When you have your bowl or tub of popcorn, be sure to give it a few good shakes to help shift unpopped kernels to the bottom. Try to pick up only a few pieces at a time rather than whole handfuls. With these precautions, you can minimize the chances of accidentally putting an unpopped kernel in your mouth.
Barbequing is a time-honored tradition in America and many other countries across the world. While wings, ribs, and bone-in steaks are known to be delicious and satisfying, they contain bones that human teeth are not built to chew. It can be a little too easy to bite into a rib or a wing and force your incisors a little too hard on a bone. Even if the meat is cut away from the bone, small particles of it can get caught in the meat where they can still cause cracks or chips. The best thing to do to protect your teeth when enjoying bone-in meats is to bite and chew carefully.
Many people love to have ice in their beverages to keep them cold and refreshing. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that water counts as a rock when it is frozen. Chewing on ice is incredibly harsh on your teeth. If you chew on whole ice cubes, you can crack or chip your teeth, and even shaved ice like that in snow cones can scratch and wear away your enamel. Sucking on a little ice isn’t bad if you don’t chew it but avoid putting tooth pressure on ice in any form.
Your teeth are a wonderful asset for eating, speaking, and socializing. Taking proper care of them when you’re eating can help them serve you faithfully for a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Austin Amos earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston, and he stays up to date with the latest developments in the dental field by regularly taking continuing education courses. He proudly serves as a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentists, and the Seattle Study Club. His office in the Colony, TX offers preventive, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. For more tips on keeping your teeth safe from harm, contact his office online or dial (972) 625-4746.