Our teeth are as strong as they are fragile. They are strong in that they serve us well for chewing and grinding down most kinds of foods, but this does not mean the ability of our teeth should be abused because if pushed far enough, a tooth is sure to crack. Let’s have a look at what foods to avoid so that we are consistently looking after our teeth and not exerting an unnecessary amount of pressure on them.
- Candy - This is certainly one of the leading causes of cracked teeth. Hard candies are meant to be sucked not bitten into with gusto. They are very hard on the teeth and were originally designed to be sucked for the release of flavor. Be careful when candies and chocolates have just been taken out of the freezer. Exercise that self-control and don’t chomp right into that rock hard sweetness.
- Food Packaging - How many times have you sat down with a bag of chips or peanuts and for lack of anything else to open it with, ripped it open with your teeth? Or opened a bottle of cola with your teeth. In those moments of sheer determination where you just have to get to what’s inside that sturdy packaging, carry a small pair of scissors and a bottle opener in your bag or a pen knife in your pocket.
- Popcorn - Believe it or not popcorn has been responsible for a lot of visits to the dentist. Do you recall sitting at the cinema and munching happily on soft fluffy popcorn? Well once the soft fluffy popcorn is gone, you are left with hard kernels that are incredibly yummy with all the salt and butter. As a standard, when you reach the bottom of the popcorn – put the box away!
- Olive Pits - Olive pits can be found in a number of places, maybe the stray olive pit in a salad, sandwich, or pasta. It is very disconcerting when you bite into something expecting it to be soft but find a hard pit under your teeth. Truth is sometimes there is no sure shot way to avoid this. Eat mindfully and chew carefully to avoid cracking a tooth.
- Nuts - Nuts are full of proteins and generally a really good snack when you are staving off the hunger pangs. Pistachios and walnuts have hard shells that we sometimes like to crack open with our teeth. Use pliers or a hammer to crack them open. As a rule, try and avoid chomping down on foods that are harder than your teeth.
- Ice - Many people have the habit of chewing on ice when they’re nervous or restless. Ice can cause irreparable damage to the teeth. Ice wears down the enamel and could even cause it to chip or break.
Let’s not take our teeth for granted. Let’s treat our teeth with respect and be thankful for how well they serve us. And the rule of thumb, ‘If you can’t break it with your hand, don’t break it with your teeth.’ is a golden rule you should follow. Remember, teeth are strong but they are not invincible!