Foods have a greater impact on your teeth than only causing cavities. Some foods that can crack your teeth cause more harm to a tooth than a cavity. When you have a crack, you will likely need to visit us at Innovative Endodontics for root canal therapy. While we love to help all our patients, we also want you to protect your teeth. Therefore, here is our list of foods to avoid if you want to protect your teeth from cracks.
If you want to preserve your teeth for life, try to avoid the following foods that can crack your teeth:
Some people have a habit of crunching on ice cubes after finishing their drink. However, this zero-calorie snack can damage your tooth enamel or cause a crack in a tooth. Try to avoid crunching ice cubes. If you feel the need to crunch on something, try celery or carrot sticks that won’t damage your teeth.
You should not bite down on hard candies or mints because these treats are for sucking on, not biting. Due to the hardened sugar density, you could do serious damage to your teeth from eating these sweets incorrectly. In some cases, hard candies or mints can cause teeth to crack if you bite into them. Therefore, make sure to suck on these candies until they dissolve in your mouth instead of crunching through them.
Nuts can crack teeth, especially if you chew on well-roasted nuts. However, an even worse practice is to use your teeth to break through the shells of nuts. Your teeth are not a nutcracker. In fact, using your mouth as a tool to open packages, break nutshells, or tear things is one way to crack your teeth or damage the enamel.
While nibbling on a chicken bone is a great way to get the last of the meat off it, you can crack your teeth in the process. The hard bone does not yield when you bite down on it. Therefore, the force of your bite can crack your tooth instead of the bone.
Fruit is a healthy snack but watch out when eating stone fruits such as peaches, avocadoes, nectarines, and cherries. If you bite down hard on the stone in the middle of these fruits, your tooth could crack or break. Instead of giving up eating fruit, cut the fruit into slices rather than eating it whole. You will get the nutrient-rich benefits of eating the fruit without endangering your teeth.
While sudden temperature change is not a type of food, you can have several food combinations that produce this. When exposed to heat, your teeth expand. However, when chilled, they contract. If you eat something such as ice cream and follow it immediately with hot coffee, the contracting and expanding of your teeth can lead to cracks. Avoid pairing very hot and very cold foods together or wait a while between bites to avoid the sudden shift in temperatures inside your mouth.
While the ice cream bars themselves do not pose a problem, the stick inside could create trouble for your teeth. If you bite through an ice cream bar too hard, your teeth may crack when they strike the wooden stick inside. Eat these foods carefully to avoid the stick inside and avoid using excessive pressure to bite down on the treat.
Foods that can crack teeth are not the only concern you should have. Some habits can also cause your teeth to crack or break. Avoid the following:
Tongue piercings and other mouth jewelry can tap against your teeth constantly. Over time, your teeth may crack from the impacts of the jewelry against them.
Whenever you play impact sports, you should have a mouthguard in place. The mouthguard will protect your teeth from impacts causing cracks, breaks, or lost teeth. Make wearing a mouthguard a habit, so you don’t have to think about putting it in whenever you suit up for a game or practice.
Your nails are tough, and biting on them regularly can weaken teeth or cause cracks. Also, avoid chewing on pens or pencils, or other non-food items. If you feel the need to chew to relieve stress, consider sugar-free gum to keep your teeth healthy.
Your teeth are not tools. Never use them as bottle openers, scissors, nutcrackers, or prying devices. Keep a drawer in your kitchen with the proper tools stocked in it. By having the correct tools readily available, you won’t have to use your teeth and put them at risk of cracking.
If you do accidentally eat some of the foods that can crack your teeth and feel or hear a crack, rinse out your mouth with warm water. For swelling of the site, use a cold compress, and make an appointment with us at Innovative Endodontics. Dr. Estes will examine the cracked tooth and determine the best course of action. You may need root canal therapy for a minor crack.
The longer you wait, though, the worse the crack can get. If the crack extends below your gum line, you may need the tooth pulled. Therefore, make your appointment as soon as you notice a crack to have the best chance of preserving your natural tooth.
If you need an evaluation of a cracked tooth, contact us at Innovative Endodontics. We serve the Charleston, SC area, for all your endodontic needs. Our high-tech equipment and Dr. Estes’s experience make our goal of giving all our patients the highest caliber of care possible. For outstanding treatment of your cracked tooth from a top root canal specialist, trust us at Innovative Endodontics.