How Eating Certain Foods Leads to Dental Emergencies

How Eating Certain Foods Leads to Dental Emergencies

While everyone knows that too many sugary snacks can lead to tooth damage and cavities, some foods that are really hard on the teeth. In fact, certain foods can cause problems so severe that you may be on the phone making an emergency call to the dentist. While these foods are tasty, you may want to avoid them so you don’t cause damage to your teeth. At the very least, be very careful when you eat them!

Ice Cubes

Ice CubesYou’re supposed to stay hydrated, and ice has no calories. This is why many people will chew on ice cubes when the urge to snack hits. However, this is a big mistake. Ice is very hard and can lead to stress fractures in your teeth or maybe even a broken tooth. Never chew on ice. Additionally, if someone hands you a popsicle on a hot day, lick it or suck on it until it is soft enough to bite into easily to avoid damaging your teeth.


Salty and crunchy, popcorn is the perfect snack for a day at the movies. Generally, we think of popcorn as soft and fluffy. However,  problems occur when people stuff handfuls in their mouth, not realizing it contains a hard, un-popped kernel. These hard kernels can become wedged between the molars, leading to a broken tooth, chipped tooth, or cracked filling. If you eat popcorn, eat it just a few kernels at a time and don’t munch on the un-popped kernels that linger at the bottom of the bag. These kernels are too hard to eat without damaging your teeth.

Caramels, Taffy, and Other Sticky Sweets

Caramels, Taffy, and Other Sticky SweetsSmooth and sweet, caramels are delicious treats. Many people think that as long as they brush and floss after indulging in caramel or taffy, it poses no risk to their teeth. However, the decay issue is only one part of the problem with these sticky confections. Some of these treats are so sticky that they can pull a loose filling or even a crown right out of your mouth, leading to an emergency call to the dentist.

Hard Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are good for you, but for people who have weak teeth, very hard apples and carrots can lead to dental problems, especially if one bites into them at the wrong angle. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid them altogether. Instead, if you worry about damaging your teeth, use a knife to cut these nutritious snacks in to smaller bits that you can pop in your mouth. Your molars can do a better job of chewing these foods, so get hard things like apples, carrots, to the back of your mouth for chewing.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and SeedsNuts and seeds are packed with nutrition and protein. However, you must use caution when eating them. Some nuts, particularly almonds, are very hard, so it’s better to eat them sliced or chopped to protect your teeth. The worst, however, are seeds and nuts in the shell. Many people are tempted to use their front teeth to pry these treats from the shell, which can lead to chipped and broken front teeth. Use a nut cracker to crack nuts and use your fingers to shell nuts like pistachios and sunflower seeds before you eat them.

Granola and Protein Bars

Protein bars and granola bars are perfect snacks for those on the go. However, people should use caution with the kinds of bars that they choose. Certain brands are so chewy and hard, that those with weak teeth may be at risk for breaking a tooth or removing a filling. Additionally, sometimes these bars have nuts in them which can be hard for those with dental issues to chew. Choose your brand of granola and protein bar carefully, take small bites, and don’t be afraid to toss it if it’s too difficult to chew.

Anything with a Pit

Anything with a PitFresh cherries are delicious, and olives are a tasty treat, but use caution when you’re eating them. Accidentally biting into the pit of a fruit can crack or break your tooth. Even if what you’re eating is advertised as “pitted” remember that sometimes, machines that do this work make mistakes. Always chew carefully to be on the safe side.


If you accidentally break a tooth or damage a filling or other dental work, you may need to see an emergency dentist. Even if it’s on a weekend, we want to help you be pain-free and able to function, and some problems require fast action. Contact Dental Brothers for all your dental needs, including when you bite down on the wrong food.