How Hard Foods Can Hurt Your Teeth

You use your teeth every day, and unless a tooth is hurting, you don’t think much about them. But you only have one set to last your entire adult life. If you take good care of your teeth, get regular checkups, and watch what foods you chew, however, they should be able to last a lifetime. Hard foods can make this more difficult, however, so here are three ways they can hurt your teeth.

Increase Likelihood of Chips

There are few things worse than to be happily eating your favorite popcorn only to suddenly bite down hard on an unpopped kernel. There are a handful of foods to watch out for, because they are the common culprits for causing chipped or broken teeth. These include popcorn, candy, pits, ice, and nuts. Hard candies and ice are especially bad. When you suck on them, hard candies expose your teeth to sugar over a long period of time, which leads to tooth decay. On the other hand, if you are a hard candy cruncher, you risk fracturing a tooth. The same goes for ice. People who like to chew on ice can damage their enamel and break teeth.

Damage Dental Crowns

Once a crown is fully set, it responds to hard foods in a similar way as your original teeth. Watch out for the same foods that will damage a fully natural tooth and avoid crunching down on hard foods. For a few days after receiving a crown, however, you absolutely must avoid crunchy or sticky foods. You want to give your tooth the chance to form a strong bond with the crown. Avoid foods like caramel, raw carrots, nuts, and chips. You should stick with soft foods immediately after getting dental work done.

Damage Enamel

Even if crunching on hard candies or ice doesn’t break your tooth at the moment, some hard foods can damage your enamel. This weakens the tooth and leads to a higher risk of future cavities forming. Hard foods composed of simple carbohydrates create a double whammy for your teeth. This includes crackers, hard cookies, and chips. First, these hard foods can break or wear down your tooth’s enamel. Second, refined carbohydrates are basically the same as sugar from your body’s perspective. They work their way down in between the teeth and into the fissures and crevices and sit there, attracting cavity-producing bacteria.

Your teeth are critical for the health of your body, your ability to communicate, and for producing that winning smile. Be careful about what foods you eat and help those teeth to last. They are the only ones you are going to get!

Read this next: Why You Need to Eat a More Balanced Diet