Everyone wants to live with a healthy, flawless smile that constantly exudes happiness and beauty. It’s obvious when you notice a small imperfection in another person’s smile, and whether you like to admit it or not, you’ll most often judge that person based on that little dental flaw.
Some of these cosmetic defects can be anything from a discolored smile to a misshapen or cracked tooth. Dental flaws can result from a number of things such as drinking dark coffee throughout the day, grinding your teeth when stressed out, being in a sports accident, or using your teeth for something other than what they’re made for– eating.
Eating and Broken Teeth
Did you ever think that eating could be the cause of a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth? You may hear an abrupt crackle sound and feel an isolated piece of your tooth inside your mouth when you least expect it.
Whichever way your tooth has fractured, it’s never an enjoyable feeling and you should take the precaution of seeking immediate care. Dr. Glenn MacFarlane says there may be different ways of repairing and protecting a chipped tooth such as undergoing a restorative treatment, wearing a mouth guard, or even getting a quick filling.
However, if you choose to neglect the sudden imperfection in your smile, it won’t be long until your tooth and oral health becomes severely damaged.
The Dangers of a Cracked Tooth
Oftentimes, when you crack a tooth while chewing or biting down on a hard piece of food, it’s difficult to see right away. Once the mishap happens, you know something is wrong and you’ll likely experience some type of pain, but you may not be able to find where the crack is. This is a sign of cracked tooth syndrome, which can lead to an infection in the root of your tooth or it can completely shatter your tooth over time.
It’s best to visit your dentist right away if symptoms persist and you want to protect your tooth from further harm. If you choose to live with a broken tooth and continue to eat the foods that may have cracked it, you’ll be toothless before you know it.
7 Foods Your Teeth Should Avoid
Teeth are very strong, and many times, it’s unlikely that they’ll break when you’re enjoying some of your favorite foods. Unfortunately, some foods are a bit tougher to eat than others and will require a stronger bite in order for you to break it down and consume it. Knowing which foods to look out for will be an easy way to help protect your teeth from damage in the first place.
As you head out to see the newest movie in theater, it’s likely you’re also eager to buy a large box of buttery popcorn to indulge in over the next couple of hours. Once you start eating the soft, fluffy kernels, it can be hard to stop and before you know it, you’ve reached the bottom of the bucket.
This is the time when popcorn becomes a risk to your dental health. As you continue to grab handfuls of popcorn, it’s common you’re also unknowingly taking handfuls of unpopped kernels as well. Before you know it, you’re forcefully biting down on a hard kernel and “pop” goes your tooth.
Next time you want to watch a movie accompanied by the puffy goodness, take your time while eating it so you can look out for any unpopped kernels. You don’t have to completely eliminate popcorn from your movie experience, but it’s recommended that you simply enjoy it piece by piece.
Nuts are a great source of many nutrients like protein, fiber, and omega 3 fats, and provide the body with substantial health benefits. Although they’re a popular snack that many people eat almost daily, they also can pose a threat to your teeth.
When you buy nuts that are still in their shell, it can lead to tooth problems when you try to open the shell with your teeth. You may notice the edges of your teeth begin to wear down and thin out over time if shelled nuts are your daily go-to snack. Nuts you should be careful with are:
- Sunflower seeds
Chicken legs, ribs, chicken wings, a T-bone steak, and any other type of bone-in meat, or sometimes fish, is always the best part of a summer BBQ. The savory flavors are always a great complement to a hot day as well as the cold beverage you’ve been sipping on.
Although these BBQ favorites are hard to resist, you should take caution when biting into them for the sake of your smile. Sometimes the juiciness of the meat might distract you from where the bone exactly is, and you’ll suddenly chomp down on it and crack your tooth.
Candy already isn’t the best type of food for your oral health. Filled with tons of sugar, you really should only be treating yourself to these kinds of sweets occasionally. Some candies aren’t completely detrimental to your teeth, but hard candies like lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers, or peanut brittle can actually cause physical harm if you constantly chew on them.
“When you eat hard candy, it’s likely you’ll forcefully bite down on them, which can break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Nicholas Sager states. To avoid chipping a tooth from candy, allow it to dissolve so it’s not as dense.
Although it’s not technically food, many people act as if ice is okay to bite on in an attempt to hydrate their mouth. However, this is not the case. Ice should be used to chill a drink, not to chew on as a midday refresher.
These frozen cubes can be hard on your teeth and will create microscopic cracks if you choose to eat them often. These cracks can grow if you continue to eat ice and other hard foods, which will result in a fully fractured tooth that will need to be replaced.
Next time you think about crunching on the ice in your beverage, remember that even if you don’t notice a crack in your tooth, it’s possible it just can’t be seen with the naked eye. The damage may quickly become more severe if you continue this bad habit.
Any type of food with a pit, like olives or cherries, generally seems like a harmless snack. When you go to bite down on it, the hard, tooth-damaging center may be a surprise to you and your teeth, and before you know it, you’ve just split a tooth.
Just like popcorn kernels, a pit can shatter your tooth in the same, unexpected way. Even if you buy one of those yummy snacks that are often labeled “pits removed,” there’s still a possibility some of them still contain a pit.
Be careful when eating foods with pits, and if you experience any tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with your dentist to be safe in case there is a crack.
Most people love bread and it’s a great accompaniment to many meals. Many times when eating bread, it’s likely that you’ll toast it or bake it so it gets crisp and tasty. When doing this, your loaf or piece of bread falls into the category of a “hard bread” which can sometimes be hazardous to your teeth.
Some types of hard bread include:
Even though fresh out of the oven bread like these can be the perfect complement to your meal, you should be cautious when crunching down on the pieces. It’s easy to wear down your enamel when continuously biting into hard bread which will cause them to weaken and break. Take smaller bites so you can chew softly and enjoy your carbs without hurting your smile.
How Your Dentist Will Repair a Broken Tooth
Depending on what tooth is split, how deep down it is, and how severe your symptoms are, the best method of treatment will vary. Some people won’t even notice any pain or sensitivity in their tooth until the damage worsens.
In many cases, the tooth can be restored with a dental crown or through root canal therapy. Other times the tooth may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant or bridge by an experienced dentist like Dr. Eugene Stanislaus. Dentists like him will first take x-rays of your tooth to receive a more accurate visual of the crack before performing an entire procedure.
Some tips you can follow to ensure you prevent further injury to your smile before you make it to your dentist are:
- Sticking to soft foods
- Avoid putting pressure on the tooth
- Maintain good oral health to reduce your risk of infection
- Take pain relief medication
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water
Once you make it to your dentist and get your tooth fixed, always remember that these certain foods can still impair your teeth. You won’t want to reinjure your beautiful smile and live with the discomfort again.