We’re all aware that sugary foods increase our risk of developing decay, but have you ever spared a thought for your teeth when eating potentially dangerous foods that could cause chips and fractures? Some foods, although they may taste delicious, present major problems for our teeth and indulging in them may leave you nursing toothache and facing a trip to the dentist. Here are five foods to avoid if you plan to keep those pearly whites intact:
A cinema snack favourite and increasingly popular low-calorie alternative to crisps, popcorn may taste delightful, but it’s one of the most hazardous foods to introduce to your teeth. Popcorn not only sticks to your teeth, you also tend to come across an incredibly hard kernel from time and time and these can be really dangerous. Many a tooth has been cracked on a popcorn kernel. If you are treating yourself to a bag of popcorn at the movies, take time to remove the kernels before you tuck in and make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards and floss to get rid of bits of popcorn stuck between the teeth.
A firm favourite with travellers and those intending to cosy up for a night in front of the TV, boiled sweets come in a range of flavours, shapes and colours. Humbugs, mints and fruit sweets are very popular, but they aren’t great news for your teeth. Biting down on a hard sweet can be enough to break or chip a tooth, especially if it has been weakened by previous injury or acid erosion. It’s generally best to avoid hard sweets but if you can’t resist, avoid biting down on the sweet and suck it instead. Again, it’s important to rinse with water after eating to reduce the risk of plaque build-up.
If you’re enjoying a cool drink this summer, take care not to bite down on ice cubes, as they are hard and they can cause damage to your teeth. It’s best to sip drinks through a straw to prevent injuries and reduce the impact of sugars and acids in the mouth.
Hard pretzels are a popular party snack. Whether you choose sweet or savoury, it’s a good idea to take care when crunching on pretzels as they can be quite solid. Try to ensure that you use your molars rather than the front teeth, as they are stronger and have larger biting surfaces.
Nuts have a wealth of health benefits and are a great source of essential fatty acids and minerals such as calcium, but they can be dangerous for your teeth as they are hard. Take special care when crunching on them as an evening snack.