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Our Lenoir Pediatric Dentist Shares the Top 5 Foods That Crack Kids’ Teeth
Our teeth are very strong, but they are also very brittle. This goes double for childrens’ teeth, which are even more delicate than their adult counterparts. That means that, unfortunately, some of your kids’ favorite foods could end up causing imperceptible stress fractures to the teeth, which can cause pain and even lead to infection. In order to keep your kids’ teeth strong and safe, here are some common tooth-cracking culprits to watch out for.
A very high percentage of cracked tooth cases we see here at our Lenoir pediatric dentist office are caused by un-popped popcorn kernels. Both children and adults seem to underestimate the strength of these tiny destroyers, and attempt to chew them once all the other popcorn is gone; others may simply not see a stray kernel and chomp down on it accidentally. In any case, you can help protect your kids’ teeth by shaking the popcorn bowl a little to let the kernels settle to the bottom, and separating the soft stuff from the hard.
Another main offender in the arena of cracked teeth are pistachios. Breaking these nuts from their extra-tough shells is usually pretty easy—as long as they are ripe, open pistachios. But sometimes, an unripe, closed pistachio makes it into the bunch, tempting both adults and kids to open them with their teeth. In order to prevent pistachio-influenced dental accidents, be sure to only give kids unshelled pistachios; or even better, unshelled peanuts, almonds and cashews.
Most adults have eaten their fair share of cherries and know to expect pits. However, to kids, this concept is more unfamiliar, and they tend to be less careful. Make sure your child knows that even jars of cherries, olives, and peaches marked with a “pits removed” label can still have a pit or two that was missed by sorting machinery. And, again, you can remove cherry pits from the fruit yourself before giving it to your child, or substitute other, safer fruit options.
Chewing on ice is a common bad habit among adults and kids alike. The reason it’s a “bad” habit is because it can and does cause hairline stress fractures to the teeth. Over time, repeated stress from chewing will cause the cracks to split vertically down the middle, like an axe in a piece of firewood. If you see your child chewing ice cubes, try to discourage them or give them sugar-free gum, instead. And if you’re guilty of chewing ice yourself, now’s the time to stop for good!
Many a tooth has been injured due to a stray chicken, pork, or beef bone lurking in an otherwise delicious dish. And fish bones, being small and translucent, present their own level of danger. If you use bones to make your own soup stock, or clean carcasses to make dishes like chicken salad, be sure to be very careful, and use a mesh strainer whenever possible to sort out the bones. If you serve your children fish, check it carefully for bones before giving it to them, and always supervise them while they are eating.
Prevent Cracked Teeth and More with Our Lenoir Children’s Dentist
If you or your child develops a crack in their teeth—or is experiencing pain that could indicate a fracture—it’s important to seek treatment right away. Just like a crack in a car windshield, the tooth fracture will usually expand and grow in size until the damage is much greater. Luckily, our Lenoir pediatric dentists are here to keep your kids’ teeth safe, even when it’s crunch time! To schedule an appointment with our office give us a call today!