We’ve all been there. Eating lunch with a coworker or a friend and getting a big piece of food stuck in our teeth. They may point out that you have something stuck in between your pearly whites and you may quickly work to get it out. Or, even worse, you might notice it afterwards in the mirror and know that they were too hesitant to point it out.
Not only can getting food stuck in your teeth be embarrassing, but it can also be uncomfortable and even painful. Worst of all, leaving food lodged between your teeth to rot can cause serious dental issues, like cavities and gum decay. Here are some of the biggest food culprits that like to stay wedged between your teeth. Make sure to bring floss along when you’re planning to eat these food items.
Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds... Pretty Much All Seeds
Seeds are probably the most frustrating of all the foods on this list. You can’t really eat around them if they are in your meal or snack because they are so small. And once seeds are stuck in your teeth, it can be incredibly hard to dig them out of there because of their size. If you wear braces, it’s best to stay away from food that contains seeds. They can bend or break your wires if they get lodged in the right place.
The buttery, salty goodness of popcorn is the perfect companion during a comforting movie. But its aftermath is enough to put many of us off of it. Sharp kernel pieces can shove their way between your gums and teeth, especially in your molars, causing pain, discomfort and a dangerous space for bacteria to breed. Next time you eat popcorn, try to pay attention to how you’re eating it to avoid discomfort at best, and gum issues at worst.
Most of us love the sugary sweetness of caramel, taffies and gummies. But most of us also know that these candies pretty much always stick to our teeth in the most annoying spots. Bacteria love sugar, so leaving these candies stuck to our teeth for hours at a time can easily result in cavities. Try swishing water in your mouth and flossing after you’re done munching on chewy candy, and brush about 30 minutes after eating.
The real issue with these delicious fruits isn’t the raspberries themselves. Rather, it’s the hundreds of tiny seeds inside of them. Just like poppy seeds and sesame seeds, raspberry seeds can get lodged in the most inconvenient spaces, particularly in your molar region, which is the hardest to reach.
Now that we’ve covered the small bites, it’s time to take a look at the big guys: meats. Chewy strings from steak, rib, chicken and beef can easily make their way into tight spaces between your chompers. If you marinate the meat with acidic, seasoned liquid, these pieces of meat can attract lots of bacteria that will eat away at your enamel.
Tips to Keep Food Out Of Your Teeth
Just because these food options are likely to get stuck in your teeth doesn’t mean you should stop eating them. Here are some tips from our dentists to keep your smile food-free:
- Drink water while you’re eating
- Swish water around your mouth after your meal or snack
- Chew gum that contains xylitol after you’ve chowed down on sticky food
- Always keep toothpicks on hand
- Floss soon after eating these types of food, and brush 30 minutes afterwards